Half of Doctors Constantly Play Mobile Games at Work

Dopamine activated by gaming 'overrides judgment': psych professor
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2015 10:12 AM CDT
Half of Doctors Constantly Play Mobile Games at Work
Your move, doc.   (Shutterstock)

"Let's start your colonoscopy as soon as I complete Dreamworld Level 171" probably isn't something you want to hear your gastroenterologist say, but according to a new YouGov survey on phone usage in the workplace, a good number of doctors just can't quit their mobile gaming on the clock, the Observer reports. Close to half (43%) of the doctors surveyed say they play on their phones while at work, and even though they may not be engrossed in Candy Crush while meeting with patients or performing an organ transplant, playing right before they perform an actual work task could, as the Observer puts it, "hinder focus."

The survey of 1,200 adults also found that social media and texting distracts 68% of Americans from their work at least a few times every day. Consultants were the most distracted industry (76% 'fessed up to using their phones for such activities at least five times a day), followed by IT workers (59%), finance professionals (27%), and teachers (23%). What pulls doctors—and the rest of us—in for hours on end, per a University of Connecticut psych professor: "When dopamine is activated in the brain, which is what happens with gaming, it overrides your [judgment]," he says, also citing "time distortion" as a reason why people get sucked in. (The good doctors could check themselves into this hospital that treats online addiction.)

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