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Why aren't there any celebrity psychiatrists?

When I was in Los Angeles recently, there was a headline article in the Health Section of the June 14 Los Angeles Times entitled “The Cult of Celebrity Doctors.” No surprise there, I guess, given the prominence of the celebrity culture in Los Angeles. However, perhaps the medical backgrounds of these celebrity doctors may be surprising, and suggest something important about the role of psychiatrists in our modern society.

Of the 7 “doctors” highlighted, 4 are surgeons. You may know them. They are: Drs Mehmet Oz, Nancy Snyderman, Atul Gawanda, and Sanjay Gupta. There was also one anesthesiologist, Dr Michael F. Roizen; one alternative medicine physician, Dr Andrew Weil, and one psychologist, Dr Phil McGraw. None were psychiatrists, although the chief commentator in the article was indeed a psychiatrist. There also were not any pediatricians or family physicians. What may this breakdown mean, at least as far as psychiatrists are concerned?

By H. Steven Moffic, MD | July 1, 2010

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