Sunday, December 24, 2006

Are Surgeons Really Better Looking Than Other Doctors?

“Male surgeons are taller and more handsome than male physicians, according to a study in this week's (traditionally lighthearted) Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal.

Doctors at the University of Barcelona Hospital in Spain noticed that the tallest and most handsome male medical students were more likely to become surgeons, and that the shortest (and perhaps not so good looking) ones were more likely to become physicians.

Observers used the "good looking score" to classify each participant (ranging from 1, ugly to 7, very good looking). The results show that, on average, senior male surgeons are significantly taller and better looking than senior male physicians.”

See BMJ-British Medical Journal, Dec 2006; 333: 1291 – 1293.

I’ve already admitted I’m the researching type, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that when I saw this article, I immediately decided this was an important issue that needed further investigation. Are surgeons more good looking than other doctors?

I have really only known four doctors: my family doctor, my gyno, my former family doctor, and my eye doctor. In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that, despite going to him for years, I’ve never actually seen Dr. Gyno. During my visits with him, 80% of the visit is spent with my eyes tightly squeezed shut, and the other 20% of the visit is spent with me looking awkwardly down at my hands while mumbling unintelligible answers to his questions. But I’m still going to include him in my study.

I definitely needed more data, i.e. I needed to check out more doctors. As much as I would have liked to have done this in person, I just couldn’t see myself hanging around a hospital oogling men. Even for an important research project such as this one. Who am I kidding? Of course I could see myself doing that, and enjoying it immensely. Nevertheless, I just went to the website of a local hospital that provides photos of their doctors. (I only know about this because I was researching BF’s orthopedic surgeon for him.)

I saw the website as a kind of online sales catalogue listing each doctor’s specialty, medical school, and special interests: “Hi, my name is Dr. Jekyll. I am a general surgeon. I attended UTMB-Galveston. I enjoy Hernias, Gallbladders, and long walks along the beach” (ok, I added that last one). I noted that in some of the pictures, the doctors had placed their left hand on their chin, conveniently displaying their ring finger. Nice to know because I immediately deducted points for being married.

I clicked on five specialties, and started picking names at random. Three of the secretaries at work also acted as judges. I swear, I am not making this up, one surgeon’s picture looked like a DWI mugshot. The cutest guy we saw was an ENT doctor.  Therefore, I’m not sure I can agree with the BMJ’s findings.

I think that if someone did a study like this in the medblog world, where doctors are read and not seen, you’d find ER doctors, not surgeons, at the top of the survey. They just seem like the bad boys of medicine. And I don’t need a survey to tell me that good girls are drawn to bad boys, or, in this case, their blogs.  Happy Holidays.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

How nice of you to say that. ;)

Happy Holidays.

Medblog Addict said...

Ummm. Where did you come from?

Anonymous said...

It wasn't just better looking: it was taller, too. I'm 6' 4" and therefore shouldn't have even to comment on the rest. res ipsa loquitur Furthermore, when you consider English teeth, the fact that it was a British study should mean that if done in the US the results would be even more dramatic.

Medblog Addict said...

What do you mean if it were done in the U.S.? I just did it in the U.S. Are you questioning the integrity of my research? Besides, what are complaining about? Anyone who has spent more than two minutes on my blog would think that they stumbled onto the Dr. Schwab Official Fan Club Site. Do I have to concede that you’re tall and good looking too?

And Scalpel, my face is still red. You really shouldn't sneak up on a girl like that.

Sid Schwab said...

I'm tall.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I'm another "Medblog Addict", although I have an excuse, being a retired hospital pharmacist and missing all the medical day to day "stuff". I can't believe you have the time to blog, read all those blogs and be a fulltime lawyer as well. I spend an enormous amount of time reading my blog list.
Anyway, I enjoy your sense of humour, so will keep on reading.
jmb

Medblog Addict said...

Oh please. You're a surgeon and a writer. Throw in a pair of scrubs... How could someone like that not be good looking?

Medblog Addict said...

I may do all those things, I just don't do them well. Because I have no medical background (nor an aptitude for science), I skip over a lot of the technical stuff, which saves me alot of time. Kinda makes you wonder why I'm addicted to medblogs doesn't it? I'm glad you stopped by.

Anonymous said...

You crack me up.

Anonymous said...

I'm equally flattered. Slainte

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Medblog Addict said...

Deleted, but only because I like secrets too.

Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic, but how did you get the "previous posts" part of your page? I just can't seem to find it...
Also; Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year!

Cheers

frectis said...

That's hilarious! Most of the doctors I have known are dorky orthos (apologies to dorky orthos; maybe it has to do with Long Beach Memorial or something). Like awkward guys who could've either been Bill Gates or a surgeon. I met one HOT OB once (not my own) and had a hard time focusing on the delivery. The mother even commented as he wasn't her regular doctor that it was tough to "push" knowing this hottie wasn't getting an equally pleasant view, LOL ;)

Anonymous said...

the return of off topic...
Thanks; I'm trying to get my archive to look like yours - which I can't... and I don't know why, cos I thought we had the same template. Many of our fellow blogonauts have their archive organised the way you do, and I prefer it to the way mine looks... I just can't figure it out. Ah well
Cheers anyway

Anonymous said...

Thank you Medblog Addict :)

Anonymous said...

The Bad Boys of the ED think you're dead-right.

GruntDoc

Anonymous said...

Ive had 8 surgeries so here is my rundown of them....2 of the 8 have been fairly handsome. One of the 8 has been movie star handsome.

Most surgeons I have had are tall. Well over 6 ft.... Orthopedic surgeons are the most handsome...In my experience. I had one that was so handsome that you just wanted to keep falling around and breaking something.

RNrealnurse said...

I have seen some drop dead gorgeous doctors, mostly ortho and ER and one that was an ENT, but you know what?.. the most handsome one I worked with was also by far the biggest asshole and worst doctor. I don't put too much stock in good looks.

trenchy said...

damn right Grunt doc.

Anonymous said...

have you seen how she writes? Good God.

Anonymous said...

heh. you're so cheap and easy. nice to know, just in case.

Anonymous said...

dammit. I am, I know.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I read it before you deleted... LOL

Anonymous said...

i don't believe you.

Anonymous said...

"maybe I still have a chance"... ring a bell? LOL.

Anonymous said...

On somewhat of a related topic...

I find women ER doctors oooh so SEXY! Spunky, strong, determined, athletic, takes no crap from anyone...

trenchy said...

that is true as a rule.

Medblog Addict said...

You're breaking my heart.

Anonymous said...

oh, good gracious.

Anonymous said...

I concur. At my institution female ER residents are the best looking of them them all.

Pen said...

Recently my son was hospitalised at St Joan de Deu hospital in Barcelona. The surgeons were often tall and good looking, but the neurologists, emergency doctors and the ones in the intensive care unit (I don't know what they did, but I watched them doing it) were all short and good looking. Men and women. My husband and I marvelled at the consistently high level of attractiveness of these doctors from Spain. It's one of the few happy memories of a stinking time.

Perhaps your data only applies to doctors in Barcelona?

Oh, and I'm totally addicted to medblogs too. I wish I could be free of it.

Medblog Addict said...

Pen--Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I hope everything worked out for your son. I thought blogging about the medblogs would help free me from the addiction, but no luck so far.