Drew Pinsky

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Drew Pinsky
Pinsky in January 2007.
Birth nameDavid Drew Pinsky
Born(1958-09-04) September 4, 1958 (age 56)
Pasadena, California, United States
Alma materAmherst College (BS)
University of Southern California (MD)
Various (syndicated)
NetworkWestwood One
ShowCelebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew
Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew
Celebrity Rehab Presents Sober House
Dr. Drew On Call
CountryUnited States
Spouse(s)Susan (Sailer) Pinsky[1]
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Drew Pinsky
Pinsky in January 2007.
Birth nameDavid Drew Pinsky
Born(1958-09-04) September 4, 1958 (age 56)
Pasadena, California, United States
Alma materAmherst College (BS)
University of Southern California (MD)
Various (syndicated)
NetworkWestwood One
ShowCelebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew
Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew
Celebrity Rehab Presents Sober House
Dr. Drew On Call
CountryUnited States
Spouse(s)Susan (Sailer) Pinsky[1]

David Drew Pinsky (born September 4, 1958),[2] best known as Dr. Drew, is an American board-certified internist, addiction medicine specialist, and media personality. He has hosted the nationally syndicated radio talk show Loveline since the show's inception in 1984. On television, he hosts the talk show Dr. Drew On Call on HLN, and hosted the canceled daytime series Lifechangers on the The CW. In addition, he serves as producer and starred in the VH1 show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, and its spinoffs Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew, Celebrity Rehab Presents Sober House and hosts podcasts on the Adam Carolla podcast network.

Pinsky is also 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,[3] staff member at Huntington Memorial Hospital, and a private practitioner.[4]

Early life[edit]

Pinsky was born in Pasadena, California.[5] His father, Morton Pinsky (1925–2009), was a physician whose parents emigrated from Russia.[6] His mother, Helene Stanton (née Eleanor Mae Stansbury; born 1925), is a retired singer and actress who came from a "highly Victorian upper-middle-class family in Philadelphia".[6][7] Pinsky attended Polytechnic School. He majored in biology at Amherst College, graduating in 1980,[5][8] and earned his M.D. at the University of Southern California School of Medicine in 1984.[9] 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.[10]


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."[11]

Radio work[edit]

Main article: Loveline

In 1984, while still a medical student, Pinsky started appearing in "Ask a Surgeon", a segment of a Sunday night KROQ-FM show hosted by Jim "Poorman" Trenton and "Swedish" Egil Aalvik.[12] "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."[11] The MTV show ran for four years, while the radio show continues on today without Carolla, who left the show in 2005.

On November 27, 2007, Pinsky began Dr. Drew Live, another nationally syndicated talk radio show where he focused on a wider range of health issues. It originated from KGIL in Los Angeles, originally airing weekdays from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm PT[13] The show was canceled in December 2008.

On January 5, 2015, Pinsky launched a new weekday program, "Dr. Drew Midday Live with Mike Catherwood," on KABC in Los Angeles. [14]

Other media appearances[edit]

In the December 9, 2003 episode of Loveline with guest co-host Adam Carolla, Pinsky mentioned that he was on Wheel of Fortune in 1984, though he did not win. In the January 2011 episode of Loveline, Pinsky mentioned that he appeared on Wheel of Fortune again. 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[15] and Family Guy.[16]

In addition to his own radio show and medical career, Pinsky also has appeared 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 VH-1, and has been renewed for multiple seasons. A follow-up 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.[17]

Pinsky also appears on the MTV series Sex...with Mom and Dad. Pinsky makes 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.[18] In November 2009, Pinsky starred in a spinoff of Celebrity Rehab, Sex Rehab with Dr.Drew, which depicted celebrities being treated for sexual addiction over the course of three weeks at the Pasadena Recovery Center.

TV appearances in which Pinsky did not appear as himself include The Adam Carolla Project, Minoriteam,[19] Robot Chicken,[20] My Gym Partner's a Monkey,[21] and Code Monkeys.[22] Pinsky appeared in the films New York Minute and Wild Hogs.

In early 2011, Pinsky began hosting his own show on HLN that focuses on addiction.[23] In an interview on Kevin and Bean, Pinsky has stated he will speak to any media outlet including TMZ and The National Enquirer, but will not speak to the Los Angeles Times, explaining "They distort, and they mislead, and they take things out of context. I really am stunned at how shoddy their journalism is, so I stopped talking to them."[24] In September 2012, Pinsky announced on the The Adam Carolla Show that he will be doing a podcast on the Carolla Digital network.[25]

Other work[edit]

In 1999, Pinsky co-founded an Internet-based community and advice site for teenagers called DrDrew.com with Curtis Giesen. Among their early backers was Garage.com.[26] DrDrew.com soon ran out of funding, and the company was sold to Sherwood Partners Inc., a corporate restructuring firm, which sold the remnants to DrKoop.com in November 2000.[27]

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.[28][29] When Adam Carolla and Pinsky were teamed as hosts of Loveline, Carolla and Pinsky spoke at colleges.[30][31][32]

Pinsky was the voice of 1-800-GET-THIN, advocating lap band surgery on radio ads and in a recording played for those who called 1-800-GET-THIN.[33][34][35]

He also appeared with his dogs in a PETA ad campaign promoting the spaying and neutering of pets.[36]


Asteroid 4536 Drewpinsky is named in his honor.[37]

Pinsky was honored with the Larry Stewart Leadership and Inspiration Award at the 12th Annual PRISM Awards in 2008.[38]


Criticism and praise[edit]

In 2009, Pinsky drew criticism from experts for publicly offering professional opinions of celebrities he has never met or personally examined, based on media accounts, and has also drawn the ire of some of those celebrities. Following comments Pinsky made about actor Tom Cruise's belief in Scientology and Lindsay Lohan's drug abuse, Cruise's lawyer compared Pinsky to Joseph Goebbels, and Lohan posted on Twitter, "I thought REAL doctors talked to patients in offices behind closed doors."[45] Pinsky also received criticism in April 2010 for stating that he would frame Lohan for illegal drug use in order to force her into a sobriety program if he were her father.[46] Pinsky responded in the same publication 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.[47]

Pinsky, who admits in his 2009 book, The Mirror Effect, 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, especially the youth, on the medical facts distorted by the media. 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."[48] Sex Rehab alumnus Duncan Roy, however, has criticized Pinsky's competence. While Roy concedes that Pinsky is highly skilled at treating drug and alcohol addiction, he claims that Pinsky has no knowledge of sex addiction, and that he merely recycled the words and ideas of Jill Vermiere, MFT, one of the therapists on Sex Rehab, who Roy says, along with Dr. John Sealy, were the true therapeutic forces behind his recovery.[49]

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."[50]

In January 2012, journalist Jim Romenesko reported that Pinsky accepted $115,000 in consultation fees from Janssen Pharmaceutica in 2010 and 2011.[51] In response, Janssen released a statement that the money was for a program aimed at "educating teens, parents, and educators about the prevalence and serious risks of teen prescription drug abuse in the U.S." CNN Headline News spokesperson Alison Rudnick, which broadcasts Dr. Drew, stated that Pinsky would include on-air disclaimers during any stories involving Janssen. Charles Seife of Slate magazine, however, pointed out in a July 2012 article that no such disclaimer was made during an episode that aired a week earlier on gastric bypass surgery, despite a Los Angeles Times article questioning the propriety of Pinsky's role as a spokesperson for a firm that did marketing for lap-band surgery. Headline News explained that the lap-band deal had elapsed by the time the gastric bypass show aired, making a disclaimer unnecessary.[52]

In July 2012, it was reported that United States prosecutors involved in a criminal prosecution of GlaxoSmithKline for healthcare fraud, in which the company settled for $3 billion, marketed the drug Wellbutrin SR, using a network of paid experts, being distinct from other antidepressants by not causing a decrease in sex drive despite the fact that company did not have FDA approval for that claim. Dr Drew Pinsky's name was on the long list of experts listed in the complaint and it was alleged that he was paid $275,000 in March and April 1999 to promote the drug "in settings where it did not appear that Dr. Pinsky was speaking for GSK." Dr. Pinsky was engaged in speaking tours warning on the common side effect of decreased libido from the use of antidepressants and advocating on methods to manage the side effect based on his clinical experience. Among the many methods, switching to an alternative antidepressant was listed as a strategy and Wellbutrin was one of the drugs mentioned that he had had success with in past experience.[53] [54]

Personal life[edit]

Pinsky married on July 21, 1991, and he and his wife, Susan Sailer, had triplets Douglas, Jordan, and Paulina in November 1992.[55][56][57]

Pinsky lives in Pasadena, California. Interested in fitness since his early teens, he goes running[58] and does weight training regularly.[59] In addition to his hobby of traveling,[12] 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.[60] 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, but did perform an aria on Turn Ben Stein On.[61][62][63]

Pinsky's father, Morton, died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage on October 27, 2009.[48] A title card at the end of the season 3 finale of Celebrity Rehab dedicated the episode to him.

Pinsky is a nonobservant Jew; he admits to abandoning most Jewish 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, and that his background places "an indirect coloring on every answer."[64]

In September 2013, Pinsky revealed that he had recovered from prostate cancer surgery performed earlier that June and July, after which Pinsky did not require chemotherapy or radiation.[65]

Politically, Pinsky has increasingly spoken of the 'tyranny' of governmental overreach and the need for a “Liberty Party.”[66]


Published work[edit]

Journal publications[edit]



  1. ^ "Drew Pinsky: Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  2. ^ "Drew Pinsky Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on October 14, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2011. 
  3. ^ Lin, Rong-Gong II. "Dr. Drew Pinsky leaves Las Encinas Hospital, which faces renewed scrutiny". Los Angeles Times. March 6, 2010
  4. ^ "USC Study: Celebrities Really Are More Narcissistic than the General Public". Breitbart.com. Accessed September 6, 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Drew Pinsky- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Pinsky, Drew; Pinksy Todd Gold. Cracked: Putting Broken Lives Together Again: A Doctor's Story, New York: Regan Books. 2004. pg. 38
  7. ^ "Helena Stanton - The Private Life and Times of Helene Stanton." Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  8. ^ "Amherst Reads Feature Book - July 2009". Amherst College. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Medical Board of California, License Holder". Retrieved February 6, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Relationships and Health with Drew Pinsky, M.D.". Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c Jesella, Kara (February 3, 2008). "Detox for the Camera. Doctor’s Order!". The New York Times.
  12. ^ a b About the Show from the Loveline website
  13. ^ "On the radio: Dr. Drew Pinsky adds KGIL to his practice", Orange County Register, November 22, 2007
  14. ^ http://www.kabc.com/common/page.php?pt=Dr.+Drew+Midday+Live+with+Mike+Catherwood&id=36221&is_corp=0
  15. ^ Dawson's Creek, Season 6, Episode 19, "Lovelines"
  16. ^ Family Guy, Season 4, Episode 7, "Brian the Bachelor"
  17. ^ Liner, Elaine. "Dr. Drew, Back for Celeb Rehab 2 and Talking Sex, Drugs and the New Media Meanness" MediaBizBloggers.com; October 20, 2008
  18. ^ Shanks, Jon. "Dr. Drew: Don't Sweep Heath Ledger Under the Rug" The National Ledger; February 8, 2008
  19. ^ Minoriteam, Season 1, Episode 16, "Tremendous Class"
  20. ^ Robot Chicken, Season 2, Episode 20, "Book of Corrine". Sketches: Robot Chicken Taken Over! and Jasper, the Douchebag Ghost
  21. ^ My Gym Partner's a Monkey, Season 3, Episode 39, "Butt of Jake"
  22. ^ "Dr. Drew Pinsky Biography". BuddyTV. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Dr. Drew Lands Prime-Time Series on HLN". TVGuide.com. Retrieved November 30, 2010. 
  24. ^ Kevin and Bean interview, January 6, 2011
  25. ^ "Adam Carolla Show". Retrieved November 23, 2012. 
  26. ^ Wang, Andy. E-Commerce News: News: "Heavyweight Investors Back Loveline's Doctor Drew"; ecommercetimes.com; October 1, 1999
  27. ^ Boulton, Clint. "Is drkoop.com Out of Sick Bay for Good?". internetnews.com. November 2, 2000
  28. ^ Hoehn, Melanie. "'Loveline' host Dr. Drew Pinsky to speak at Southeast" Southeast Missourian; February 10, 2010
  29. ^ Zerofsky, Elisabeth. "The Loveline Conservative" Campus Progress; July 23, 2007
  30. ^ Loveline 1999-02-14
  31. ^ "Loveline: About the Show". Retrieved 8 October 2010. Together, [Carolla and Pinsky] refined the format of the show, and capitalized on their growing popularity with speaking tours 
  32. ^ Loveline 2003-03-06: Joshua Jackson
  33. ^ Hensley, Scott (2011-12-13). "FDA Tells Weight-Loss Surgery Centers To Pull Misleading Ads". NPR. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  34. ^ "FDA accuses 1-800-GET-THIN of using misleading Lap-Band ads". Los Angeles Times. 2011-12-14. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  35. ^ "Dr. Drew won't talk about 1-800-GET-THIN endorsement". Los Angeles Times. 2011-12-15. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  36. ^ "Dr. Drew's PETA Campaign Advocates To Spay and Neuter Pets". The Huffington Post. 11 August 2012.
  37. ^ "4536 Drewpinsky (1987 DA6)". Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NASA.
  38. ^ Bollinger, Henri (April 24, 2008). "Television’s Dr. Drew Receives Larry Stewart Leadership Award". Entertainment Industries Council, Inc.
  39. ^ Kaliski, Jessie (November 12, 2012). "Dr. Drew: Guiding People One TV Show at a Time". The Amherst Student. Issue 142-9.
  40. ^ "Dr. Drew Pinsky to Deliver Commencement Address to Keck Class of 2011". April 4, 2011. Keck School of Medicine of USC.
  41. ^ "ABIM - Verification of Physicians certification". Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  42. ^ "ABAM American Board of Addiction Medicine". Diplomate Verification. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  43. ^ "ASAM Certification Verification". Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  44. ^ "About the Show". Loveline with Mike & Dr. Drew. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
  45. ^ Norris; 2009; Page 6 of 6
  46. ^ Grim, Ryan. "Dr. Drew Getting Ripped For Suggesting Lindsay Lohan Be Framed For Drug Use" The Huffington Post; April 15, 2010
  47. ^ 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
  48. ^ a b Norris, Chris (December 30, 2009). "Hitting Bottom". The New York Times. p. 2 of 6. 
  49. ^ Roy, Duncan. "Is Dr. Drew a Phony?". The Daily Beast. December 17, 2009
  50. ^ Norris. 2009, Page 4 of 6
  51. ^ Romensko, Jim (January 17, 2012). "Dr. Drew Pinsky took $115,000 from pharmaceutical firm". JimRomensko.com. 
  52. ^ Seife, Charles (July 9, 2012). "Dr. Drew Pinsky Cashes In". Slate. 
  53. ^ Herper, Matthew (July 2, 2012). "Feds Say Dr. Drew Was Paid By Glaxo To Talk Up Antidepressant". Forbes.
  54. ^ http://podcastone.com/Loveline.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  55. ^ Sachs, Mark. "His prescription: lots of time spent with the family", The Los Angeles Times, February 27, 2009
  56. ^ Loveline, 1997-11-10, Pinsky mentions the triplets will turn five at midnight
  57. ^ Tawa, Renee (1993-08-19). "The Doctor's in the House Radio: On `Loveline,' scholarly Dr. Drew dispenses advice on sex, drugs and heartache to teen-agers, and tolerates his crass disc jockey pal.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  58. ^ Camelio, Stephen (February 2010). "I'm a Runner: Dr. Drew Pinsky". Runner's World (Rodale Inc.). 
  59. ^ Thorpe, Mark (August 2008). "The muscle doctrine". Muscle and Fitness Magazine (Weider Publications). 
  60. ^ Loveline broadcast, June 24, 2009. As heard on KROQ-FM radio, Los Angeles.
  61. ^ "Drew Pinsky: Credits". TV Guide. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  62. ^ Drew Pinsky at Yahoo! TV; Accessed July 14, 2010
  63. ^ "Drew Pinsky filmography". The New York Times. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
  64. ^ Samantha Lazarus and Adena Raub. "Jewish love expert helps curious students", Mitzpeh, March 21, 2005
  65. ^ Halperin, Shirley (September 24, 2013). "Dr. Drew Reveals Prostate Cancer Battle: 'Without Surgery, I Would Have Died' (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  66. ^ Ostermeier, Eric (October 2, 2014). "Are Dr. Drew and Adam Carolla Libertarians?". Smart Politics. 

External links[edit]