The Orville is a comedy science fiction TV series featuring Seth MacFarlane (creator and star) and Brannon Braga (writer and executive producer). It’s also a medium rich in psychiatric themes for medical students to review aspects of human behavior.
Among so many other media, our medical school curriculum focuses on the Star Trek franchise with abstracts on Gene Roddenberry’s legendary series presented at national meetings. Now, it’s time to tackle the next generation. Each Sunday evening at 8:00 pm (EST), medical students at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School will beam up to the titular U.S.S. Orville. Their educational mission:
to explore strange new behaviors,
to seek out new life-changing medications,
to boldly go where no student has gone before!
Okay, so maybe using creative media like TV and film won’t gain grant support for clinical trials of new medications but you get the point. At the end of each month, we’ll post a reflection at the link (Toblogs > Behaviorville) that analyzes the month’s episodes and reviews points germane to the field of psychiatry. What better way for medical students and residents to learn psychiatry than by watching The Orville on Sundays and tuning into our website each month to discover what the episode was really about?
If you have any questions or comments while reading the reflections or viewing the episodes, please direct them to @ATobiaMD using the Twitter handle #behaviorville.
Summary There were four things that we discussed when residents and medical students watched the pilot episode of FOX’s new comedy, The Orville. First, what parallels would the producers choose to incorporate from the original Star Trek (we’ll also reference any of the many spin-offs when it suits us)? To the extent that the crew of the starship Enterprise was …