Seinfeld is far from just a show about nothing.
In fact, the NBC sitcom is now being utilized as a teaching tool designed to help medical students identify and discuss psychiatric disorders at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in N.J.
Every Monday and Thursday, Rutgers University Associate Professor Dr. Anthony Tobia assigns his third and fourth-year med students to watch that evening’s syndicated episode of ‘Seinfeld’ on TBS.
The cast of ‘Seinfeld.’
The next morning, Dr. Tobia begins his class with a discussion of what psychopathology was demonstrated by the hit series’ characters — Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer, just to name a few — during the episode.
For example, one student in the “Psy-feld” course claimed George demonstrated signs of narcissism as he neglected his own girlfriend to instead focus on Jerry’s new love interest after studying a recent installment of the 90s show.
From left to right: Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander and Michael Richards.
“You have a very diverse group of personality traits that are maladaptive on the individual level,” Dr. Tobia told ‘NJ.com.’ “When you get these friends together the dynamic is such that it literally creates a plot: Jerry’s obsessive compulsive traits combined with Kramer’s schizoid traits, with Elaine’s inability to forge meaningful relationships and with George being egocentric.”
‘Seinfeld’ — which starred Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander and Michael Richards as the main characters — ran for nine seasons on NBC from July 1989 – May 1998.