Seinfeld Reruns Prove an Exercise in Psychology for New Jersey Medical Students

January 12, 2015


If you’re a fan of Seinfeld, the iconic 1990s “show about nothing,” and you just happen to be considering a career in psychology, you just might already have a jump on your competition – as well as a solid excuse for a sitcom binge.

Psychiatry Professor Anthony Tobia of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey is using the show to teach his third- and fourth-year medical students in the hospital’s psychiatric rotation about delusional disorders. In an exercise aptly named “Psy-feld,” students are getting some (sort of) real-world practice in observing and discussing psychopathology in a novel way.

“When you get these friends together the dynamic is such that it literally creates a plot,” Tobia recently explained to reporters. “Jerry’s obsessive compulsive traits combined with Kramer’s schizoid traits, with Elaine’s inability to forge meaningful relationships and with George being egocentric.”

The show is being broadcast in syndication on TBS and students are required to watch two repeat episodes each week, then come to class ready to discuss. Tobia recently described his unique approach in a piece titled Psy-feld: An Innovative Didactic Using the TV Show Seinfeld to Teach Delusional Disorder Subtypes and published on, the online home of the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine. In the paper’s conclusion, Tobia reports that of the 104 students who participated in the first Psy-feld course, 99 completed surveys and praised the experience.

“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,” Tobia and his co-authors wrote. “Students also found it enjoyable and preferred the didactic to more traditional forms of teaching such as large group lectures.”

Psy-feld is just one example of an out-of-the-box approach to making the study of medicine more relatable, effective and enjoyable for students. While we may not get the same belly laughs as a Seinfeld episode, we here at WOLFPACC are firm believers in nixing the old-school way of teaching medicine in favor of innovative new approaches. In fact, that’s just what we’ve accomplished in creating our USMLE and COMLEX preparation courses.

Developed by Dr. Hans Wolf, the WOLFPACC methodology does away with the conventional memorize-and-recall approach to medical studies and instead teaches medicine through the understanding of the basic concepts of physiology. Our mantra is “Master it – Don’t memorize it.” And it works!

To find out more about how WOLFPACC’s revolutionary approach can help you succeed in your medical studies, call 904-209-3140 and speak with an enrollment specialist today. Meanwhile, enjoy this clip from a top Seinfeldfavorite, the Junior Mint episode.