I, for one, become immediately suspicious of any doctor that I am asked to refer to by their first name. My dentist has been sticking his hands in my mouth for nearly twenty years, and I still refer to him by his last name. It's that little lift of respect that we give to people who make life and death decisions for us. Or at least filling or not decisions. It seems like they've earned it, after all.
Which brings me to Doctor Drew. That's Doctor Pinsky to me. The host of "Loveline" and "Celebrity Rehab" to most of the planet. He's a board-certified internist, addiction medicine specialist, and he's a celebrity himself. Each week, Doctor Pinsky brings his unique gifts to bear on the struggles of the lovelorn and the celebrity addicted. Addicts who happen to be addicted. You get the idea. He's deeply interested in others' pain. He would like to share that pain with a loyal listening and viewing audience.
Then there's this: Doctor Pinsky helped treat Mindy McCready for love addiction on season three of Celebrity Rehab and said he'd
referred her to professionals who could continue to help her afterward. "A love addict basically is somebody that really didn't have a good model
for intimacy in their childhood, often times traumatized in one way or
another, thereby intimacy becomes a risk place, becomes an intolerable
place," Pinsky said. Ms. McCready committed suicide last week. She joins a list of the patients who "slipped": Alice in Chains' Mike Starr and "Real World" alumni Joey Kovar died from
unrelated drug overdoses in the past two years. "Taxi" actor Jeff Conaway and "Can't We All Get Along" star Rodney King have also passed on. Is anyone else wondering where Doctor Pinsky got his license?
There is no doubt that living life in public ramps up the difficulty for certain personalities to find their way. Does it make sense to run those difficulties through the fast-cut editing machine of MTV or phone in the advice between commercials for Pro Flowers and Amazon.com? Cries for help aren't best answered on basic cable or syndicated radio talk shows. It's certain that those who seek "Dr. Drew" out are looking for a brand name, and probably hoping for a few extra moments on their fame clock, but I'm pretty sure that a real doctor wouldn't prescribe reality TV as a cure. That's a symptom of a much larger problem. Just ask Doctor Dave.