Job creep is affecting all of us it seems. We are all handling many tasks that are not in our formal job description. And, obviously, anesthesiologists are no different.
In the operating room, many anesthesiologists are the self-styled DJs of the OR, loading the CDs on the cart before passing the gas, so to speak. Some say they know their surgeons well enough to know what kind of music they like.
Some like rap. Some prefer heavy metal. Others prefer oldies or opera. Some also want different types of music for different stages of surgery - up-tempo beats for the finale. (One surgeon always closes to J-Lo.)
Studies have shown music can benefit patients, but not as much attention has been paid to the benefit to surgeons (and thus patient safety and quality).
Some anesthesiologists are using their DJ skills as a marketing tool. Sometimes surgeons request an anesthesiologist because they like his or her music selection.
Dr. Doug Reinhart, an anesthesiologist in Ogden, Utah, surveyed 301 American Society of Anesthesiology members and found that providing operating music was among the nonmedical tasks many performed. Anesthesiologists in private practice and those under 50 were most likely to serve as the operating room DJs. They are usually a natural DJ pick because their medical duties continue while the patient is asleep but they are less tethered to the OR table than the surgeons and other OR staff.
No word yet on if my favorite blogging anesthesiologist is Dr. DJ at his hospital. Here's a picture of his cart and I don't see a boombox or an iPod. He seems to prefer talking. (But if he was the DJ, I would bet that "Mr. Roboto" by Styx would make it on the playlist, as well as "Raspberry Beret" by Prince...as he's always doing something close to nothing but different than the day before. And since it's very hard for me to listen to a song without singing along, I am imagining that I would be singing loudly, even if asleep on the OR table.)