Residency

News in brief: Residents haunted by ghost vibrations

Residency Program Insider, April 26, 2011

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Residents are hooked up to their cell phones and pagers the majority of most days. Being attached at the hip to these devices causes some trainees to feel phantom vibrations—they feel the vibration sometimes without a call or page.

The Augusta Chronicle reports on a study published in BMJ in December found that 68% of personnel surveyed at one medical center said they felt phantom vibrations at one time, and 13% report feeling it daily.
Lead author Dr. Michael B. Rothberg, the director of scholarly activities for the residency program at Baystate Medical Center, part of Tufts University in Boston, says the sensation is caused by your brain misinterpreting a sensation.

“…If you are expecting something—you are expecting a phone call, you are expecting a baby to be crying, you are expecting a pager to vibrate—you are going to misinterpret things and think that they are that signal when they are actually something else."

Read more in the Augusta Chronicle.



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