Open Access Debate

Cinema in the training of psychiatry residents: focus on helping relationships

Carla Gramaglia1, Amalia Jona2, Fredrica Imperatori2, Eugenio Torre1 and Patrizia Zeppegno12*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Translational Medicine, Università del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”, Via Solaroli n° 17, Novara, 28100, Italy

2 Institute of Psychiatry, AOU Maggiore della Carità Hospital, Via Solaroli n° 17, Novara, 28100, Italy

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BMC Medical Education 2013, 13:90  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-13-90

Published: 21 June 2013



Medical schools are currently charged with a lack of education as far as empathic/relational skills and the meaning of being a health-care provider are concerned, thus leading to increased interest in medical humanities.


Medical humanities can offer an insight into human illness and in a broader outlook into human condition, understanding of one self, responsibility. An empathic relation to patients might be fostered by a matching approach to humanities and sciences, which should be considered as subjects of equal relevance, complementary to one another. Recently, movies have been used in medical – especially psychiatric - trainees education, but mainly within the limits of teaching a variety of disorders. A different approach dealing with the use of cinema in the training of psychiatry residents is proposed, based on Jung and Hillman’s considerations about the relation between images and archetypes, archetypal experience and learning.


Selected full-length movies or clips can offer a priceless opportunity to face with the meaning of being involved in a care-providing, helping profession.

Education; Empathy; Emotion; Psychiatry trainees; Students; Cinema; Movies; Films