Friday, October 05, 2007

My Three Shrinks Podcast 35: Shrinks on Film

[34] . . . [35] . . . [36] . . . [All]

Last week, we had our guest, Dr. Mark Komrad, join us and begin to discuss the portrayal of psychiatrists in the movies. Mark used to have a live, two-hour, coast-to-coast, nationally syndicated talk radio show, and is a regular guest on NPR. He is also the Ask-a-Doctor on the NAMI site, and also has a book coming out. Mark was a guest blogger back in July, when he posted on Ethics and Continuing Education for the Psychiatrist.
This week Mark continues to discuss how Hollywood likes to portray psychiatrists in film. You can find him at (Unfortunately, Monkey the parakeet gets sidelined in this podcast.)

October 5, 2007: #35 Shrinks on Film

Topics include:
  • Leona Helmsley's dog, Testamentary capacity, and Psychological Autopsies. ClinkShrink discusses how one starts to address the question of competency to being able to make the decsion to leave $12 million to one's dog. Bounty and one's natural heirs.

  • Irv Schneider's 3 Psychiatric Archetypes: Doctors Dippy, Darling & Dangerous. These are the three categories of psychiatrists most frequently played in the movies and television.

    -Dr. Dippy: Bob Newhart Show; What About Bob? (Richard Dreyfuss); High Anxiety (Mel Brooks); Analyze This (Billy Crystal)

    -Dr. Darling: Equus (Richard Burton); The Sopranos (Dr. Melfi); Sixth Sense (Bruce Willis); Good Will Hunting (Robin Williams); Prince of Tides (Barbra Streisand); Ordinary People (Judd Hirsch); K-PAX (Jeff Bridges)

    -Dr. Dangerous: Silence of the Lambs (Anthony Hopkins); Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Dr. Silberman); Dressed to Kill (Michael Caine); Beauty and the Beast (Belle's father)

    See My Patient, Myself. How we must "neutralize" the negative images of psychiatrists in the media, "like your podcast." How the movie, Lovesick, affected the idea of psychiatrists falling in love with their patients.

  • Psychiatric Services: Religion and Psychiatry. We have an interesting talk about the role that a physician's religious background may play in the likelihood of referring a patient with complicated grief to clergy versus a psychiatrist. See Roy's upcoming post on Religion and Psychiatry for more info. Briefly:

    -Psychiatric physicians were more likely to be Jewish or non-religious than nonpsychiatric physicians.

    -Protestant physicians were twice as likely as other physicians to refer the example patient to clergy rather than a psychiatrist.

  • Washington Post on Virginia Tech: Roy briefly mentions his recent post on the final report on the Virginia Tech tragedy and the potential impacts on privacy of health care information, willingness of college students to get help, and liability. Dinah suggests readers go back to look at our prior posts about college mental health, Suicidal Students and Let's Talk About Suicide. This also led to a discussion about outpatient commitment.

  • Correction: Dinah corrects her reference in Podcast 34 to Reign Over Me. The movie she was actually discussing was The Departed.

Find show notes with links at: The address to send us your Q&A's is there, as well.

This podcast is available on iTunes (feel free to post a review) or as an RSS feed. You can also listen to or download the .mp3 or the MPEG-4 file from
Thank you for listening.


Roy said...

Thank you for the great iTunes review, Ravendancer (a local, huh?). I particular liked this statement, "It's like going to med school, minus all the studying plus a whole lot cheaper."

Dang! Where were these podcasts when I went to med school... coulda been so much easier!

BTW, folks, Dinah is about to buy us some cool equipment so you guys don't have to listen to things like the computer fan, the fridge, and the traffic. Unfortunately, it will probably mean Monkey gets tuned out, too, but if he gets a lot of demand we can get him his own mic. Look for the new sound in podcast #38, I think.

Sarebear said...

Sweet. On a completely unrelated note (plus I still have to catch up on recent pods from you guys), I discovered an interesting Baltimore annual event, that I WISH I could go see! At least they put up awesome pics w/descriptions. Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race

That would be SO awesome. I think it'd be fun to have a brain pedaled by shrinks. As long as it's not peddled. Not that I expect anyone to, but I had a giggle thinking about it! With a sock puppet version of a rubber ducky, as every entry must have a sock puppet. Yep, I have a wild imagination.

lilnoellemd said...

Hey guys! I'm currently a fourth year medical student in the midwestern US that is headed into a psychiatric residency next year. I'm a big fan of your podcast and blog.
I had some thoughts concerning the desire to identify with a therapist.
I'm probably a minority in the psychiatric world as a conservative, white, female protestant.
You mentioned how people are likely to request for a therapist of a certain gender, perhaps even a certain ethnicity or religion, but that politics is not frequently a part of the picture.
It has been my experience that people generally assume that individuals they get along with have similar political and religious beliefs. I'm currently attending a medical school in an environment very different than I grew up in and find that most of my peers have very different viewpoints than my own. It was a very frequent occurrence (especially during election year) that those around me would say rather disrespectful things about political and religious groups in a way that made it clear to me that they expected me to agree with them. I never encouraged that type of banter but never really revealed my own thoughts on the subject because these were people that I got along with well, it doesn't bother me that people have a different viewpoint than my own, and it was never the time nor place for a serious political discussion.
It was almost amusing to me when they made these remarks because these individuals have no clue as to my background or my belief system and they just assumed that because we got along well, therefore I must have a similar belief system. I'm pretty sure they would have been shocked to have known the truth.

I'm sure there is a lesson in there somewhere, but as this has gotten to be a long post and it is rather late at night, I guess I'll stop with that.