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Drew Pinsky

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Adam: "I'm gonna need you to send me a picture of your hymen with a current newspaper, with the date on the newspaper visible, once a month."
Dr. Drew: "And a dime for scale"
―Adam and Drew

David Drew Pinsky, M.D. (born September 4, 1958[1]), better known as Dr. Drew, is an American radio and television personality, board-certified internist and addiction medicine specialist. He is the host of the nationally syndicated radio talk show, Loveline, which he has hosted since 1984.

As a medical doctor, Pinsky is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, former Medical Director for the Department of Chemical Dependency Services at Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena, California,[2] staff member at Huntington Memorial Hospital, and a private medical practitioner.[3]

Early lifeEdit

Pinsky was born in Pasadena, California and attended Polytechnic School. His father, Morton Pinsky (1925–2009), was a physician; his mother, Helene Stanton (1925-), is a retired singer and actress. He majored in biology at Amherst College, graduating in 1980,[4] and earned his M.D. at the University of Southern California School of Medicine in 1984.[5] He served his residency in internal medicine at USC County Hospital and became chief resident at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, and eventually moved into private practice.[6]

Pinsky is of Russian-Jewish heritage, but religiously is a nonobservant Jew. He admits to abandoning most Jewish religious practices but claims to retain a continued desire to learn about the religion. He explains that religious as well as philosophical studies affect his medical practice and his speeches. He says that his background places “an indirect coloring on every answer.”[7] He will occasionally let the odd Yiddish expression slip out, or use a reference to "God" as a metaphor for evolutionary adaptations or natural processes. For example, he frequently refers to the the massive surge in libido women often experience during the third trimester of pregnancy as "one of God's great practical jokes on humanity."


"My goal was always to be part of pop culture and relevant to young people, to interact with the people they hold in high esteem." -Dr. Drew Pinsky, The New York Times, February 2008.[8]

As The New York Times described it in February 2008, Pinsky's dual career in medicine and the mass media has required him to "navigat[e] a precarious balance of professionalism and salaciousness."[8]


In 1984, while still a medical student, Pinsky started appearing in "Ask a Surgeon", a new segment of a Sunday night KROQ show hosted by Jim "Poorman" Trenton and "Swedish" Egil Aalvik.[9] "Ask the Surgeon" soon combined with "Loveline", another Sunday night segment, into a show of its own, co-hosted by Trenton and Pinsky.

Loveline went national in 1995, and the television version launched on MTV the following year, hosted by Pinsky and Adam Carolla. The exposure on both radio and television made Pinsky the "Gen-X answer to Dr. Ruth Westheimer, with an AIDS-era, pro-safe-sex message."[8]

The MTV show ran for four years, while the radio show continues on today without Carolla, who left the show in 2005.

Other radio workEdit

On November 27, 2007, Pinsky began Dr. Drew Live, another nationally syndicated talk radio show where he focused on a wider genre of health issues. It originated from KGIL in Los Angeles, originally airing weekdays from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm PT [10] Although the show was canceled in December, 2008, as of February 28, 2009 the show's website is still up and old shows can still be downloaded and listened to via the website.

Other media appearancesEdit

Dr. Drew Pinsky made his acting debut in "Terminal, a 1998 episode of the TV show Space Ghost Coast to Coast, and later appeared on Dawson's Creek and Family Guy.

In addition to his radio show and medical career, Pinsky also has gained fame on television talk shows. He served as "health and human relations expert" on the first season of the U.S. TV series Big Brother in 2000. He has also hosted his own television series, Strictly Sex with Dr. Drew, on the Discovery Health Channel, which was followed by Strictly Dr. Drew. The newer program addressed everyday health issues, premiered on July 25, 2006, and continues to air weekly on Tuesdays at 7:00 pm PT.

In 2008, Pinsky starred in Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, a reality television show which involves celebrities in a drug rehabilitation facility. The show was filmed at Pasadena Recovery Center, with Pinsky serving as the resident medical expert. The series premiered January 10, 2008 on VH1, and has been renewed for multiple seasons. A followup show to Celebrity Rehab with many of the same celebrities was Sober House, which began its first season in January 2009, and included celebrities from the first two seasons of Celebrity Rehab continuing their recovery in a sober living facility.[11]

Pinsky also appears on the MTV series Sex...with Mom and Dad.

Pinsky makes frequent guest appearances on a variety of news programs where he usually gives his observations on the relationship between controlled substances and high-profile individuals. He has frequently given his views on the deaths of people such as Anna Nicole Smith, Heath Ledger and Michael Jackson, arguing that their fates should set examples of the seriousness of misusing drugs.[12]

In November 2009, Pinsky starred a spinoff of Celebrity Rehab, Sex Rehab with Dr.Drew. Patients included members celebrities being treated with sexual addiction, described as serious and potentially as fatal as drug or alcohol addiction. The rehab program took place over three weeks at the Pasadena Recovery Center.

TV appearances in which Pinsky did not appear as himself include The Adam Carolla Project, Minoriteam, Robot Chicken, My Gym Partner's a Monkey, and Code Monkeys. Pinsky has also been in the films New York Minute and Wild Hogs.

Other workEdit

In 2003, Pinsky authored Cracked: Putting Broken Lives Together Again, recounting his experiences as the Medical Director of the Department of Chemical Dependency Services at the Las Encinas Hospital drug rehabilitation clinic in Pasadena, California]. He also contributed to the book When Painkillers Become Dangerous: What Everyone Needs to Know About OxyContin and Other Prescription Drugs, published in 2004.

In addition to his media appearances, Pinsky speaks at college campuses and other public venues.[13][14][15] When Adam Carolla and Pinsky were teamed as hosts of Loveline, Carolla and Pinsky spoke at colleges.[16][17]

In 1999, Pinsky co-founded an Internet-based community and advice site for teenagers called with Curtis Giesen. Among their early backers was[18] soon ran out of funding, and the company was sold to Sherwood Partners Inc., a corporate restructuring firm, which sold the remnants to in November 2000.[19]


Asteroid 4536 Drewpinsky is named in his honor.[20]

Pinsky was honored with the Larry Stewart Leadership and Inspiration Award at the 12th Annual PRISM Awards in 2008.[21]


  • BA Amherst College[4]
  • MD University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine of USC
  • Residency Internal Medicine, Huntington Memorial Hospital
  • Board Certified, American Board of Internal Medicine[22]
  • Board Certified, American Board of Addiction Medicine[23]
  • Certified member of American Society of Addiction Medicine since 1990[24]
  • Member of American College of Physicians
  • Licensed Physician and Surgeon in the State of California since 1985[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Pinsky married on July 21, 1991, and he and his wife Susan had triplets Douglas, Jordan, and Paulina in November 1992.[25][26]

Pinsky lives in Pasadena, California. An avid fitness person since his early teens, he goes running[27] and does weight training regularly.[28] In addition to his hobby of traveling,[9] he also enjoys singing opera, as his mother was a professional singer. Pinsky stated on the June 24, 2009 episode of Loveline that at one point, he was torn between practicing medicine and becoming a professional opera singer.[29] Pinsky stated that he auditioned for a celebrity singing show, but that the show passed on his appearance when he made it clear to producers that he could not sing pop songs. However, he did perform an aria on Turn Ben Stein On.[30][31][32][33], sang a duet with Seth MacFarlane at a benefit concert, and performed several songs on The Tom Green Show.

Pinsky's father, Morton, died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage on October 27, 2009.[34] A title card at the end of the season 3 finale of Celebrity Rehab dedicated the episode to him.

In late 2013, Drew spoke publically for the first time about his battle with prostate cancer. He had mentioned having surgery in June that year, which left him very fatigued and debilitated for a time, but declined to say what it had been for.  He had actually been diagnosed several years prior, but was following a protocol with his oncologist called "active surveillance," wherein low-risk disease is simply monitored closely but not intervened on until there are signs it is growing or causing other problems. This required Drew to undergo painful prostate biopsies every few months to reassess the tumor. Drew kept the matter private the entire time, though would sometimes be very fatigued and in pain after a biopsy while when he was hosting the show. In early 2013, his doctor felt the disease was going to become a problem and so recommended surgery. Drew underwent a radical prostatectomy via a robot-assisted procedure (called the da Vinci Surgical System). The surgery was a success and the removed tissue had "clear margins" which means that the tumor had not grown outside of the prostate itself, though it had come dangerously close. While very taxing on Drew, the removal was complete enough he did not require chemotherapy or radiation, and did not significantly impact urination or erectile function.

Dr. Drew and print mediaEdit

Pinsky has stated he is very grateful to use his media presence to help others and bring health issues into the public discourse. Numerous professionals in psychology, psychiatry, and addiction treatment have praised him for trying to remove stigma of substance abuse and mental illness, and for stating the medical facts plainly and accurately, without resorting to dishonest scare tactics.  However, his experiences have made wary of print news media.

Modern American news media is almost entirely focused on negative, salacious or fear-mongering stories, with positive "feel good" pieces often marginalized or non-existent. Pinsky began noticing this when several interviews he had with journalists which were very pleasant, but ended up being borderline smear pieces once they had gone through the editorial process and published. In a phone interview with the editor of the New York Times, the editor stated he was simply not interested in running any story about Pinsky at all unless he could put a negative spin on it, because positive stories don't sell. One of the more problematic features of these stories is the use of critical remarks made by other people about Pinsky despite the fact that such persons have literally no expertise or training on the area they are commenting about. As Pinsky himself bluntly put it, these stories put a homeless transient's opinion regarding medical practices on the same level as a doctor with 30 years experience. Even on the rare occasions a news outlet consults a truly qualified medical professional, journalists will shamelessly cherry-pick or manipulate their sources. One way this happens is to deliberately seek out individuals with unpopular, fringe ideas or practices, while ignoring the vast majority of professionals that agree with or praise Pinsky's work. Another is to use individuals unfamiliar with the matter at hand entirely, wherein the journalist provides that doctor with a distorted version of events, eliciting an opinion on that concocted story rather than the truth.

On occasion Pinsky has drawn criticism from media and other non-professionals for publicly offering professional opinions of celebrities he has never met or personally examined, based on media accounts. The reality is that a highly experienced mental health expert does not necessarily need to examine a person directly to draw accurate conclusions about their highly visible acting out. Furthermore, Pinsky only gives these opinions when pressured to by journalists, and it is always with the understanding that his remarks are merely a causual observation, not formal diagnosis.

In his 2009 book, The Mirror Effect, Pinsky admitted that he scored a 16 on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (average is 18 for celebrities), and shares several traits with the "closet narcissist", asserts that he was never motivated by fame to become a media figure, but from a desire to educate the public on the medical facts distorted by the media. Indeed his personality type actually makes him overly sensitive to offending or upsetting other people, rather than unemphatic as narcissistic people are. Patient Andy Dick, who made Pinsky his primary care physician, disputes the accusation that Pinsky is motivated by a desire for fame, insisting that Pinsky "really is just this unbelievably caring guy. He really is. He’s almost too caring."[34]

Defending the practice of paying addicts to attend rehab, producer Pinsky says, "My whole thing is bait and switch. Whatever motivates them to come in, that’s fine. Then we can get them involved with the process."[35] He pointed for instance that several celebrity addicts such as Jenny Ketchum came to rehab with the intent to be disruptive or get attention, only embrace the program and achieve genuine sobriety and recovery.

Notable incidentsEdit

In 2008 Pinsky made an offhand comment in a Playboy magazine interview about actor Tom Cruise's interest in Scientology possibly coming from his history of abuse and/or neglect as a child. While Cruise has been interviewed and even recorded on film talking openly about his neglect by his father, his attorney Burt Fields released a vitriolic statement that compared Pinsky to Joseph Goebbels for implying "the absurdity that all Scientologists are mentally ill" and tried to claim he was not a physician, but a TV performer. Pinsky and his fans took particular offense to this, as he not only is a licensed physician, but he is of Jewish heritage. Furthermore, the general public had no problem with what Pinsky said, as it is generally accepted by most people around the world that Scientologists are all mentally ill and/or have childhood or psychiatric issues that drive them to join, with Cruise in particular widely regarded as unstable due to his many strange behaviors in the media.[36] Pinsky's publicist released a statement indicating that he meant no offense to Cruise and subtly warned that Field's mark could be tantamount to actionable slander. No action arose out of this incident, and it was later revealed that the remark about Goebbels was a veiled publicity reference to Cruise's film Valkyrie, which was released 5 months later.

In 2009, Rong-Gong Lin, a writer for the Los Angeles Times, attempted to grab headlines by connecting Pinsky with a series of staff-misconduct incidents at Las Encinas Hospital. While Pinsky was not involved in any of them, Lin claimed that he shared responsibility because he was "medical director" of the hospital. This backfired when Pinsky and other sources pointed out that he was not the director, but rather was one of several co-directors that only oversee the Chemical Dependency Unit, which is located in an entirely separate set of buildings from the main hospital where the misconduct occurred. This smear piece and others from the Los Angeles Times eventually resulted in many of the staff in the Chemical Dependency Unit leaving, ultimately resulting in the what some called the "holy grail of addiction treatment teams" being destroyed and Celebrity Rehab discontinued.  Drew has since refused to ever speak to the Los Angeles Times again, stating he would rather speak to any other outlet, including TMZ and The National Enquirer.

In April 2010 Pinsky received criticism for a remark he made about Lindsey Lohan that, if he were her father, he would arrange for her to be caught by police with her illegal drugs in order to force her into a sobriety program.[37] The remark was widely misinterpreted to mean that he would literally frame Lohan, when in actuallity he meant that he would take the drugs she already obtained herself and place them near her (such as in her car) or simply wait until he knew she was buying or using them, then call the police so that she would be caught in possession. Pinsky responded in his own article in the Huffington Post that his remark was intended as hyperbole and a "flight of journalistic excess," not a suggestion as a treatment modality in any way. He stated his intent was to drive home the point about bringing negative consequences to bear for a person dying of addiction when all other options have been exhausted.[38]

In 2012, when pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline was being prosecuted for healthcare fraud, the company claimed it "paid Dr. Pinsky $100.000 in March 1999 and $175,000 in April 1999" to promote their drug, Wellbutrin, without disclosing that he had been paid to do so. Drew was infuriated by this twisted version of the matter being published, but was advised by his attorney to keep quiet about the matter for publicity's sake. In late 2013 he made a remark on the Mike & Drew podcast about what actually occurred. Prior to GSK approaching him, Drew had been publically cautioning people about the sexual side-effects of most antidepressant drugs, something that prescribing doctors often obfuscated or simply failed to inform their patients about. GSK took notice of this and offered to fund his book-writing and other activities since his public cautions made their drug Wellbutrin look better by comparison. It is worth noting Drew never once lied about the drug's effect or distorted anything about it, and did not specifically promote it either. Rather, when asked directly about antidepressants with regards to sexual side effects, he would mention it as one of the few drugs on the market that did not have them. While some pointed out that the FDA had not approved this claim about Wellbutrin, there was nothing illicit about Drew saying this. These were well-established effects of the drug that had been observed for years by many physicians.

In April 2014, Dr. Drew fielded a call from a man who's fiancé allegedly had a large number of diagnoses, including endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, lactose intolerance and what he described as “no stomach lining.” The caller's intent was to establish if these were related to pain during intercourse. Dr. Drew pieced the man's description together and was suspicious about how it was being framed, stating "They’re what we call garbage bag diagnoses," and asked of the women had been sexually abused, which the caller confirmed she had. Scores of people who had these conditions but no actual medical training or expertise in psychiatric practice immediately went after Drew for these comments, misunderstanding him as saying these conditions did not exist and/or were just psychosomatic.  The print media, like sharks smelling blood, piled on and published articles that distorted or even outright fabicated what Drew had said, which in turn brought more people who were non-listeners to the show's site, facebook page and twitter to spout their vitriol. Dr. Drew publically apologized on air to everyone that might have been hurt by what might be, at most, a poor choice of words, but tried to explain what he had actually meant. He was refering to a very real, documented phenomenon called "wastebasket diagnosis," just using a different word for it.  This term, widely used in medical circles, doesn't refer to the diseases themselves, but rather refers to misusing a disease's name and applying it as a label on a patient it situations where the real cause of the patient's symptoms has not been properly determined.  That is to say, while lots of people certainly have endometriosis, there are others that may not actually have it but the doctor will "throw" the diagnose at them anyway when they can't find a better explanation.  And in cases of patients with somatoform disorder resulting from sexual abuse, such as the caller's fiance, they often have multiple "wastebasket" diagnosis because their physicians can't find a physical cause for their pain.  Mike, as well as other doctors and most listeners of the show who understood the type of person that tends to call Loveline, understood Drew just fine the first time and had no problem with what he said.  Later on the podcast, Drew talked about how the reaction was a classic case of mob mentality and blasted the media outlets for not only running with the story, but making blatant distortions on what he said.  Drew then announced he planned to sue these outlets for defamation, saying they were harming his livelihood by damaging his career as a physician, and that it was high time he fought back.




  • New York Minute
  • Big Stan
  • Overexposed
  • Wild Hogs


  • Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew
  • Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew
  • Strictly Sex with Dr. Drew
  • Strictly Dr. Drew
  • Sex...With Mom and Dad
  • Sober House
  • Loveline
  • Steve-O Demise and Rise
  • 16 and Pregnant
  • Big Brother
  • Beauty and the Geek
  • Crank Yankers
  • Robot Chicken
  • Minoriteam
  • Family Guy
  • Dawson's Creek
  • Space Ghost Coast to Coast
  • The Man Show
  • om Green Live
  • The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
  • Larry King Live (Host)
  • Teen Mom
  • Warren the Ape

Published workEdit

Journal publicationsEdit

  • Pinsky, Drew; S. Mark Young (October 2006). "Narcissism and celebrity". Journal of Research in Personality 40 (5): 463–471. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2006.05.005.
  • Noll AM, Pinsky D (June 1991). "Withdrawal effects of metoclopramide". West. J. Med. 154 (6): 726–8. PMID 1877215.


  • Pinsky, Dr. Drew; with Robert Meyers and William White (July 2004). When Painkillers Become Dangerous: What Everyone Needs to Know about OxyContin and Other Prescription Drugs. New York: Hazelden Publishing & Educational Services. ISBN 1-59285-107-X.
  • Pinsky, Dr. Drew (September 2003). Cracked: Putting Broken Lives Together Again. New York: Regan Books. ISBN 0-06-009655-1.
  • Pinsky, Dr. Drew; with Adam Carolla and Marshall Fine (1998-10-13). The Dr. Drew and Adam Book: A Survival Guide To Life and Love. New York: Dell. ISBN 0-440-50836-3.
  • Neinstein, Lawrence S.; chapters by Pinsky, Drew & Heischober, Bruce S. (2002). "Approaches to Management of Drug Abuse". Adolescent health care: a practical guide (4th ed.). Hagerstwon, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 0-7817-2897-5.
  • Pinsky, Dr. Drew; with S. Mark Young (March 2009). The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism Is Seducing America. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-158233-6.


  1. California Birth Index, 1905-1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California. At
  2. Lin, Rong-Gong II."Dr. Drew Pinsky leaves Las Encinas Hospital, which faces renewed scrutiny" Los Angeles Times; March 6, 2010
  3. USC Study: Celebrities Really Are More Narcissistic than the General Public
  4. 4.0 4.1 Amherst Magazine > Archives > Fall/Winter 2006 > College Row from the Amherst College website
  5. 5.0 5.1 Medical Board of California, License Holder
  6. [[ Relationships and Health with Drew Pinsky, M.D.
  7. Jewish love expert helps curious students
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Jesella, Kara. "Detox for the Camera. Doctor’s Order!", The New York Times; February 3, 2008
  9. 9.0 9.1 About the Show from the Loveline website
  10. "On the radio: Dr. Drew Pinsky adds KGIL to his practice", Orange County Register, November 22, 2007
  11. Liner, Elaine. "Dr. Drew, Back for Celeb Rehab 2 and Talking Sex, Drugs and the New Media Meanness"; October 20, 2008
  12. Shanks, Jon. "Dr. Drew: Don't Sweep Heath Ledger Under the Rug" The National Ledger; February 8, 2008
  13. Dr. Drew Pinsky at Keppler Speakers; Accessed October 7, 2010
  14. Hoehn, Melanie. "'Loveline' host Dr. Drew Pinsky to speak at Southeast" Southeast Missourian; February 10, 2010
  15. Zerofsky, Elisabeth. "The Loveline Conservative" Campus Progress; July 23, 2007
  16. Loveline 1999-02-14
  17. Loveline 2003-03-06: Joshua Jackson
  18. Wang, Andy. E-Commerce News: News: "Heavyweight Investors Back Loveline's Doctor Drew";; October 1, 1999
  19. Boulton, Clint. "Is Out of Sick Bay for Good?";; November 2, 2000
  20. JPL Small-Body Database Browser from the NASA website
  21. 12th Annual PRISM awards from the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. website
  22. ABIM - Verification of Physicians certification
  23. American Board of Addiction Medicine | Diplomate Verification
  24. [A ASAM Certification Verification]
  25. Loveline, 1997-11-10, Pinsky mentions the triplets will turn five at midnight
  26. [The Doctor's in the House Radio: On `Loveline,' scholarly Dr. Drew dispenses advice on sex, drugs and heartache to teenagers, and tolerates his crass disc jockey pal.
  27. I'm a Runner: Dr. Drew Pinsky - Runner's World, Rodale Inc.}}
  28. Template:Cite journal
  29. Loveline broadcast, June 24, 2009. As heard on KROQ radio, Los Angeles.
  30. [1]Template:Dead link
  31. Drew Pinsky Credits at TV; Accessed July 14, 2010
  32. Drew Pinksy at Yahoo! TV; Accessed July 14, 2010
  33. Drew Pinsky filmography at The New York Times; Accessed July 14, 2010
  34. 34.0 34.1 Norris, Chris. "Hitting Bottom"; The New York Times, December 30, 2009; Page 5 of 6
  35. Norris. 2009; Page 4 of 6
  36. Template:Cite web
  37. Grim, Ryan. "Dr. Drew Getting Ripped For Suggesting Lindsay Lohan Be Framed For Drug Use" The Huffington Post; April 15, 2010
  38. Pinsky, Drew. "If I Were Lindsay Lohan's Father I Would Go to Any Lengths to Get Her Into Treatment" The Huffington Post; April 17, 2010

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