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Psy-feld: An Innovative Didactic Using the TV Show Seinfeld to Teach Delusional Disorder Subtypes

Abstract

Objective

The primary purpose of this article is to introduce Psy-feld, an innovative didactic used to review mental disorders through discussion of the interpersonal relationships of the fictional characters created in Larry David’s situational comedy, Seinfeld. To introduce this novel didactic, several peripheral Seinfeld characters were selected, who while not afflicted with a psychotic disorder, demonstrate traits that serve to facilitate discussion to review the different subtypes of Delusional Disorder.

Methods

Psy-feld is a 30-min faculty-facilitated didactic where a selected episode of the sitcom allows for review of multidisciplinary content areas considered germane to the practice of psychiatry. At Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 104 third-year medical students rotated on the Consultation-Liaison Service from July 2011–March 2014 and participated in Psy-feld.

Results

Of the 104 students who participated in Psy-feld, 99 completed surveys on the didactic. Students found the didactic to be of high quality, believed it enhanced their learning, and thought that it prepared them for their final SHELF exam. Students also found it enjoyable and preferred the didactic to more traditional forms of teaching such as large group lectures.

Conclusions

Psy-feld is an example of an innovative teaching method that medical students found informative in reviewing teaching points of Delusional Disorder.

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Disclosures

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Anthony Tobia.

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Tobia, A., Bisen, V., Zimmerman, A. et al. Psy-feld: An Innovative Didactic Using the TV Show Seinfeld to Teach Delusional Disorder Subtypes. Acad Psychiatry 39, 482–486 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40596-014-0239-z

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Keywords

  • Seinfeld
  • Innovative teaching
  • Delusional disorder