Viewing Art through a Psychodynamic Lens hantom is just one example of Dr. Anthony Tobia’s method of teaching at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, where he has been in charge of developing curricula to teach psychiatry to the medical students and residentsin-training since 2002. His most popular course is a one-credit elective affectionately known as FIDLER MD, or “Film Depictions to Learn Mental Disease.” During class, medical students— about 400 sign up for the course each year—watch movies to dissect their psychiatric underpinnings and discuss them via Twitter as the film is being shown. This year, the students’ choices for movie selections include Ex Machina, Elf, Gattaca, and The Terminator, which was part of the inaugural Maternal Health Day at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “We focused not on Arnold Schwarzenegger but on the character of Sarah Connor, who struggles with peripartum depression,” Dr. Tobia says. Dr. Tobia also directs a yearlong course offered as a movie club that uses the horror genre to teach mental illness concepts. In another creation he calls PSY-FELD, he asks students to watch Seinfeld reruns the night before morning rounds and mines them to kick off discussions that clarify psychiatric diagnoses. The interest in PSY-FELD has been so great that Dr. Tobia now broadcasts his teaching sessions over Periscope, a live video streaming app. “Anyone with a mobile phone can now participate,” he says. He promotes the topics and schedule on his Twitter page, @ATobiaMD. Dr. Tobia’s penchant for viewing art through a psychodynamic lens was sparked as an undergraduate at Lehigh University, reading novels with psychiatric subtexts such as Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It solidified as a psychiatry resident at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, where he came under the tutelage of Don Fidler, MD, a professor who not only was a psychiatrist but had a joint appointment at the university’s school of art and drama. “Not only did Don teach me aspects of psychiatry, but also that life imitates art,” says Dr. Tobia, who named his signature course for his friend and mentor. “It’s a lesson that resonates with students, as I consistently get feedback on how informative and engaging our methods are.” M Robert Wood Johnson I MEDICINE 11 I were to play Christine again, I would use some of his teachings to prepare myself.” Dr. Tobia’s students and residents say the lessons gleaned when viewing psychiatry through a pop culture lens stay with them in a way a straight lecture never would. Dr. Ilaria, who grew up in Orlando and attended medical school in Florida, chose Robert Wood Johnson Medical School to study with Tobia. She has not been disappointed. “We walk away from his lectures with new insights into TV, movies, and music,” says Dr. Ilaria, whose paper on meaning in Billy Joel’s songs and lyrics was recently accepted by the National Conference of the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association in San Diego. “It helps you remember the material more, engage with it, and connect it to your own life.” Christine Annibali, MD ’16, a psychiatry resident, has taken courses with Dr. Tobia over the last three years. “I saw Julia perform on Broadway,” she says. “What I’ve learned in Dr. Tobia’s classes has allowed me to be more observant of pop culture and my patient population and become a better clinician.” She is now working with Dr. Tobia on a project using the movie Young Frankenstein. “It’s a more humorous way than Phantom to view psychopathology,” Dr. Annibali says. M