Intended for healthcare professionals


Training surgeons with clickers and warm scrotum studies win Ig Nobel awards

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 16 September 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5574
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

You can train your dog with a clicker, but it also works well for training orthopedic surgeons, say this year’s winners of the Ig Nobel Prize for medical education.

Other Ig Nobel awards—given for research that first makes people laugh and then makes them think, handed out by real Nobel prize winners this week—included discovering the health benefits of eating pizza and working out the infection potential of banknotes. This year’s theme was habits, well demonstrated by clicker training of surgeons.

The clicker approach to dog training works by rewarding desired behaviors with a clicking sound made by pressing a small handheld device. This approach, known as operant learning, also proved effective in helping medical students and residents learn to tie a locking, sliding knot …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription