This is in reference to the character of Dr. Kevin Casey who appeared in two episodes of Scrubs - My Catalyst & My Porcelain God.

Dr. Kavin has history of sever OCD which he suffering from since a long time. At one point Dr. Cox mentions this:

Dr. Cox: Boy, I never thought I'd see that guy again! I mean, he had to drop out of our residency class because of the God-awful severity of his condition!

Naturally Kevin has been taking medical help for his condition all his life. From an earlier conversation:

Dr. Cox: Kevin Casey? Holy cow, get outta Dodge! Te-tell me this, are you--are ya shaking hands nowadays?

Dr. Casey: [steeling himself] Well, a lifetime of therapy...and a...whole lotta Zoloft...just so I can appropriately greet you, big guy!

But in those two episodes it is shown frequently that Kevin still suffers substantially because of this OCD - to name a couple of habits, he

  • likes to start each day the same way by touching everything in his first patient's room
  • gets stuck in a monologue and keeps repeating some particular phrase
  • washes hands for a large number of times. Following is the scene:

But in the episode My Catalyst Kevin is shown performing a surgery and that too with incredible speed and efficiency.

But because of his condition isn't it quite possible that he might do something wrong in the surgery which will directly affect the patient? With such reasonably severe OCD how was Kevin able or in fact allowed to perform surgeries?

(With all due respect to people and/or doctors with OCD.)

1 Answer 1


Simply put none of the OCD-induced behaviors he displays would have a negative impact on his ability to do surgery (and FWIW the portrayal of Kevin Casey and his condition was one of the most realistic depictions of OCD I've ever seen on screen so as someone with mild OCD I have a lot of respect for Scrubs purely for that!)

While seemingly every aspect of an OCD suffer's life is fair game for developing a compulsive behavior around that doesn't mean it always affects every aspect. If he were to have a compulsion that caused him to sew up an incision, cut it open again, re-close and so on that would I imagine be a severe restriction on his ability to perform surgery but since as far as we know he doesn't have one like that he's able to practice surgery fine.

As for his speed and efficiency this is explained in the show that he was able to use his compulsive nature to his advantage by practicing procedures many more times than his peers, again this is quite realistic. Repeating an action over and over can be very soothing to an OCD suffer's mind so if you can harness that mindset for something where "practice makes perfect" you can practice something 100 times when a "normal" person would have been bored stiff after 10.

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