Is Your Anesthesiologist Also a DJ?

Music Notes

Your anesthesiologist manages your pain before, during and after surgery, but did you know that often times, he or she will also choose the music that plays while you?re in the operating room (OR)?

Playing music in the OR is not a new trend according to Dr. Thomas J. Quinn, an anesthesiologist at HSS. ?When I started here in 1987, I remember preparing my anesthesia cart the night before and the circulating nurse asked me where my radio was,? recalled Dr. Quinn. ?All of the other anesthesiologists had radios, so I had to go out and get one the night before.?

At HSS, music is?often used to relieve patients’ pre-surgery jitters. The anesthesiologists are often the OR DJs, spinning customized Spotify playlists or channels requested by patients.

?The idea of music is to keep patients comfortable,? said Dr. Quinn. “We want to connect with the patient as he or she comes into the OR.?

?It?s really quite amazing how patients, even if they are under some sedation, listen to their favorite music and forget that they wanted to be asleep,? said Dr. Quinn. ?The demands to not see, smell, or hear the operating room fall by the wayside once patients hear their favorite music.?

Are there any staples in the HSS anesthesiologists? playlists? Not really, according to Dr. Quinn, but Motown and reggae have been requested more often than others.

Check out the Anesthesiology Pre-Surgery Playlist provided by Dr. Quinn:

Dr. Thomas J. Quinn is a board-certified anesthesiologist, practicing since 1987. His current interests include the latest developments in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Dr. Quinn is the Director of Resuscitation for Hospital for Special Surgery.?

The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.


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  1. I was a patiente of Dr. Todd Albert at the Rothman Institute in Pensylvannia. Dr. Albert preformed neck surgery on me on April 15, 2013. He give me back the opportunity to live a better life. I am eternally grateful. I just want to express my gratitude to him and his staff. Sincerely. E. Cabrera.

  2. I was a middle school teacher for 41 years and played soft music as students entered my class room. This seemed to calm them down. I love what you do.

  3. I have to say that I smiled when I read your blog. I had a very similar experience when I started at HSS. But, I usually entertain with an internet radio website and select a genre of music requested by the staff or patient””s preference. I love your playlist!