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Dark Side Of The Operating Room

Divya Singh in the operating room.
Divya Singh in the operating room.

Weekends on All Things Considered continues its "Why Music Matters" series with a story from the operating room.

"The O.R. is a naturally rhythmic place, in that you have the beating of the anesthesia machines and the autoclave comes on," says Divya Singh, an orthopedic and hand surgeon. "So music just becomes another sound."

When Singh was a junior resident, she was assigned to a three-hour hip case where everyone wears what looks like a space suit. To "close" the surgery, someone requested music, and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon was queued up on the iPod.

"Everyone just got quiet, and we were all busy just doing whatever role we had in that O.R.," Singh says. "That was the first time it appeared [to] me that music could provide the atmosphere in the O.R. It's almost like a dance."

"Why Music Matters" is produced by Anna Boiko-Weyrauch with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, in collaboration with the Association of Independents in Radio and KEXP-FM in Seattle.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.