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E-mail: kalragurvinder@gmail. T. One can draw parallels to short stories and view them being similar to case presentations in medical schools which ultimately lead one to the diagnosis and management of a patient’s disorder.86820 Indian Journal of Psychiatry 53(3). Case presentation has been a classical mode of teaching in medicine and in psychiatry too. Psychiatry as a branch of medicine like the rest of medicine continues to develop. India. Although such portrayals may not always be perfect. A number of issues including moral and taboo can be taught using stories. Maharashtra. an industry. Mumbai . 258 DOI: 10. Films are often viewed as an art form. educators and teachers are turning their attention to using films for education of medical students and psychiatric trainees. M. stories and telling of stories lay the foundations of human communication and understanding. resident training.53:258-60. development of a movie club and its use are described and suggestions made to improve the use of films in this process. Jul-Sep 2011 . In this paper. Department of Psychiatry. unlike documentaries which are meant for education. L. Address for correspondence: Dr.400 022. and an instrument of social change. When one looks at films. In childhood. Gurvinder Kalra. India ABSTRACT For decades. Sion. and question some of the very vital decisions of life. they can be used successfully in teaching psychiatry trainees. Documentary films have been used by governments in different parts of the world to educate the general public and promote health and prevent the spread of disease as part of public health programs. a source of entertainment. With an increasing awareness among the general population and popularity of films showing various aspects of mental illnesses on the rise.[1-3] powerful enough to shape the attitudes of audience. mythology. films.BRIEF RESEARCH COMMUNICATION Psychiatry movie club: A novel way to teach psychiatry Gurvinder Kalra Department of Psychiatry. Maharashtra. Films make the audience laugh. science.indianjpsychiatry. teaching INTRODUCTION Cinema is a powerful medium providing us with entertainment. Although films may be stereotypical and prejudiced. Key words: Cinema. A number of academicians and researchers have examined and studied Access this article online Quick Response Code Website: www. Psychiatry movie club: A novel way to teach psychiatry. Times have changed from the films being criticized for the negative portrayal of psychiatrists and psychiatric conditions to the current times when they can be used to teach in How to cite this article: Kalra G. Medical College & Sion General Hospital. T. Medical College & Sion General Hospital. and mankind. It is inevitable that films are made for entertainment. M. Sion. films across the world have entertained people and affected their attitudes regarding certain issues and conditions. films have portrayed a multitude of issues about WHY USE FILMS? Story-telling has been a favorite mode of teaching right from childhood and kindergarten to high-school.4103/0019-5545. Over the decades. films have depicted various psychiatric conditions ranging from suicide and substance use disorders to multiple personality disorders and schizophrenia. Across the globe. L. sing to their tunes. Indian J Psychiatry 2011. This paper describes how films can be successfully used as a tool for training the psychiatry residents along with potential pitfalls in using these methods. they may nevertheless be good enough for us to understand and analyze some aspect of the disorder. Mumbai. one can see stories being told in a more presentable and audio-visually appealing form. cry.

Although in India most patients will come to the clinic accompanied by their relatives and families. A list of possible films that could be used to teach various Indian Journal of Psychiatry 53(3). Medical College.[8] among others.[13-16] A few related articles have appeared every now and then in renowned journals like Academic Psychiatry. The trainees are expected to comment on whatever aspect of the film they feel like. the films are also paused at appropriate scenes that depict different aspects of the psychiatric condition or the patient. rather than just one trainee having full information as in case presentation. students can learn some delicate intricacies of the personal and social aspects of psychiatric patients. one can combine entertainment and education and get a better understanding of the issues portrayed in the film. Volume 21. The trainees are instructed to watch the film closely. ask for certain scenes to be replayed for a better understanding. while others are not told at all.Kalra: Psychiatry movie club the portrayal of various psychiatric and related issues[4. and understand patient perspectives in a better way. Some of the films that can be used to teach various psychiatric conditions in movie clubs are enumerated in Table 1. Usually. This is then followed by screening of the film and then. he was very interested and enthusiastically supported this initiative. At the psychiatry department of L. THE PROGRAM The idea of using films as teaching tools is not a new one.T. Lies and Videotapes (1989) Taxi Driver (1976) Substance use disorder Affliction (1998) Clean and Sober (1988) The Basketball Diaries (1995) When a Man Loves a Woman (1994) 259 . It usually started with a short introduction to the film and how it is important to understand the condition that is portrayed in it.[6-12] It is only recently that their use in teaching psychiatry has been realized. The films were usually screened in afternoons after the outpatient department is closed. The advantage of using films to teach as opposed to that of case conference is that one gets to see rather than simply hear about psychopathology and that important information is presented in condensed form in films.5] and therapies like electroconvulsive therapy in films and the impact that they have on the viewers.[17] A major advantage of films is the issue of confidentiality. it is possible to see the reactions of others generated by the patient in films. Not relying solely on their entertainment value. the patient and the mental health professional in the film. similar to case histories in psychiatry which may be based on incomplete data. no list of residents was made who would be attending the films.T. Medical College. while a whole issue of International Review of Psychiatry (2009. and if required. Through films. Film DVDs were then procured and screenings done on a projecting system. It is also useful to see that ethical issues can be debated. one to two issues that have been portrayed in the film and have already been preselected and prepared by the author are then subsequently taught to the students.M. Since different residents may be on calls on different days.M. the notion of confidentiality is strikingly different. Interest in this area started with film reviews by Gabbard and Gabbard[4] and Hyler et al. Misch (2000)[17] pointed out how stories in films reflect the situations in a psychiatrist’s office: certain aspects of the story in a film are highlighted by the director. Films can be successfully used to point out various aspects of psychiatric conditions and patients. Thus. a psychiatry movie club was thus started that consisted of screening a film based on a psychiatric condition regularly. These films are personal choices of the author and one may use them as a guide and come up with one’s own library of films. Jul-Sep 2011 aspects of psychiatry to the trainees was prepared after reading relevant articles from different journals. The trainees were thus free to attend the training sessions at their own will with no intended or unintended pressure. an in depth discussion on the positive points and criticisms on the negative points in relation to the psychiatric illness. or the patient-therapist relationship for discussion of those scenes. when this idea was suggested to the Head of Department of Psychiatry at L. they were equally thrilled about it. everyone sees the same character and same story from their own perspective and hence can contribute differently to the discussion of the topic. Another benefit of using films is that all trainees have the same data about the character (patient in the film). If needed. When the same idea was suggested to the trainees. number 3) has been dedicated solely to the portrayal of psychiatric conditions in films across the world. Trainees are encouraged to think of their own favorites and bring Table 1: Films that can be used in teaching Schizophrenia 15 Park Avenue (2005) A Beautiful Mind (2001) Clean Shaven (1995) I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977) The Snake Pit (1948) Delusional disorder Don Juan DeMarco (1995) K-Pax (2001) Play Misty for Me (1971) Twelve Monkeys (1996) Mood disorder She’s So Lovely (1997) The Horse Whisperer (1998) The Mosquito Coast (1986) The Outcry (1957) Anxiety disorder Arachnophobia (1990) As Good As it Gets (1997) High Anxiety (1977) Phobia (1980) The Odd Couple (1968) Personality disorder A Clockwork Orange (1971) Fatal Attraction (1987) Sex.

17. Using films and literature for cultural competence training.26:430-3. 401-5. Schneider I. one can get an interesting combination of entertainment and education. The depiction of electroconvulsive therapy in Hindi cinema. may go to watch films for different reasons.[18] PITFALLS IN USING FILMS By using films for teaching.27:429-30. In. Using commercially available films to teach about borderline personality disorder. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Psychiatr Bull 2003. Savic A. Hyler SE. 2002. films can be successfully used thus educating through entertainment. The silver screen. Acad Psychiatry 2000. Mumbai. as viewers. 1st ed. Walter G. this method is not without its drawbacks. and actively partake in the discussions giving insights into different aspects of the film. Those who may wish to start similar ventures or use films for teaching will have their own ideas and selected films. Psychosocial formulation training using commercial films. Andrade C. Byrne P. but little do we realize that in the process.61:458-68. Psychiatr Danub 2010. Hall MN. These opinions are likely to become stereotypically strong with every new film that portrays the same condition similarly.26:16-22.42:1044-8. 260 CONCLUSIONS Films are a social phenomenon that have always had a keen interest in portraying different aspects of the mind. J ECT 2001. Psychiatry and movies. Why psychiatrists should watch films? Adv Psychiatr Treat 2009. Sledge WH (eds). Am J Community Psychol 1989. 6. Vukovic O. Jasovic-Gasic M. Gabbard GO. printed page and cultural competence. 14. Jovanovic AA. In educating psychiatry trainees. 5. Wahl OF. Venkatesh BK.22:304-7. 12. Schanzer B. Learning from this venture. The general public and psychiatry residents as well are likely to build opinions on some psychiatry topics after having watched them being portrayed in films. Damjanovic A. all the available methods should be used to ensure that they gain sufficient knowledge and skills in order to achieve competence in their fields. we may get newer insights and perspectives on our own life issues and learn newer ways to deal with problems.53:179-82. Homicidal maniacs and narcissistic parasites: Stigmatization of mentally ill persons in the movies. Beyond A Beautiful Mind: film choices for teaching schizophrenia. the tools of entertainment. this is not mandatory and the film names can be revealed beforehand. DC: American Psychiatric Press. or just to kill time. Other method of using films to teach residents is by using clips instead of whole films. Jukic V. Representation of organ transplantation in cinema and television. Encyclopedia of psychotherapy. 16. Impact of the film. Gabbard K. Washington. McDonald A.2:93-100. One can incorporate a collection of such suitable clips into 1-hour long teaching conferences along with discussions. However. Int J Organ Transpl Med 2011. Bhugra D. Lefkowits JY. Teaching psychiatry through cinema. because the film is a box-office hit. 11. 8. one can use films in various vernacular languages and some from Bollywood too in teaching psychiatry to residents. Psychiatry and the cinema. Cinema and psychotherapy. Domino G. p. Psychiatr Bull 2003. in case one thinks of using films to teach any aspect of psychiatry. DeSilva P. One has to be aware that commercial films are primarily made for entertainment and not education. Usually.21:230-5. Rosenstock J. Head of Psychiatry Department at L. be it emotions or the emotional upheavals resulting from various reasons in the lead characters. Kalra GG. And in doing so. Thus. Jul-Sep 2011 .T. Schneider I.17:521-8.Kalra: Psychiatry movie club those films. ACKNOWLEDGMENT I acknowledge my thanks to Dr. Source of Support: Nil. J ECT 2010.17:264-74. Brecic P. 7. or because it is our favorite starrer. Hosp Community Psychiatry 1991. They may not be made based on sufficient research and hence may reflect how an individual understands a mental illness rather than presenting a scientific understanding of the same. REFERENCES 1. 2.27:117-22. Bhugra D. 18. Hyler SE. Psychol Rep 1983.24:99-104. Fam Med 1994. Pettice YJ.Medical College. Nilesh Shah. This departmental film training venture has been welcomed by the trainees as a teaching tool and still takes place regularly.27:427-8. in which case one has to always consider differential diagnosis and not ICD-10 or DSM IV categories. Bull Menninger Clin 1997. THE LESSONS LEARNT From an initial experience with this entertainment-filled educational initiative. The portrayal of ECT in American movies.” on attitudes towards mental illness. Impact of a television film on attitudes toward mental illness. Shah N. 15. Movies in education of psychiatry residents. Conflict of Interest: None declared Indian Journal of Psychiatry 53(3). The use of clips is time efficient and provides emotionally engaging experiences for both the faculty and residents. Bhugra D. 4. 1999. the film names are not revealed until the final time of screening so as to maintain a level of curiosity in trainees. one has to do so sensibly. trainees may then choose to watch these films themselves before the club and re-watch it during the club screening in a group. However. 10. Bhugra D.[15] There is also a disadvantage of distortion and increased stigmatization of mental illness and the mentally ill in their portrayals in films that may lead to stronger stereotypes in the viewer’s minds. with the head of the psychiatry department fully endorsing the concept of using films to teach.20:538-40. Similarly. The Psychologist 2007. Alexander M. Acad Psychiatry 2003. Cinemeducation: an innovative approach to teaching psychosocial medical care. it was learnt that films do teach us. Misch DA. There may be distortion of data in order to make the stories more compelling and get better reviews and public attention. Psychiatr Danub 2009. diagnoses may not be always clear.M. We. 9. 13. Hersen M. for helping me in this endeavor. 3. Gabbard GO. 2nd ed.15:286-96.