Rutgers medical school teaching a class about horror movies
Psychiatry students at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School are viewing 31 of the most terrifying horror movie characters this month to study mental disorders.
It's the brainchild of Psychiatry Professor Anthony Tobia, who says although these fictional characters are over-exaggerated, it's more important for students to pick out the disorders they view.
"For our residents, the course is actually termed Reviewing Mental Disorders with a Reverent Understanding of the Macabre. We call it 'REDRUM,'" Tobia said.
"Certainly, given the fact that they are film, and they are fictional, there is a lot of creative liberty taken, so sometimes they are a little bit over the top and may even continue the stigma of mental illness. But for our teaching didactic, we identify that, of course. And it is much more important to pick out the actual details that will lend to a diagnosis."
It's not the first time Tobia has used pop culture as a teaching tool. In the past, he introduced what he called the "Psy-feld curriculum" where his students were assigned to watch episodes of NBC's "Seinfeld" to review and diagnose mental disorder observed on the sitcom.
"We take our students outside of the classroom and we put them a different clinical context," he said.
Students who are reviewing this month's selection of horror flicks post their movie observations on Reddit.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5