Everyone who has ever watched a movie knows that reality gets tweaked to allow for more car chases and emotional epiphanies. Unfortunately for the medical profession, this means that movies are full of doctors who are terrible at being doctors. Don't know what we mean? Well, consider ...
5 Dr. Malcolm Crowe in The Sixth Sense Is Fine With Talking to No One
In The Sixth Sense, Bruce Willis plays Dr. Malcolm Crowe, who is supposed to be one of the best child psychologists in Philadelphia. He won an award from the mayor and (spoiler alert, in case you waited 14 years to see this movie) even the obstacle of being dead doesn't stop him from trying to help kids.
"Immortality really helps you focus on your long-term goals."
In the movie's prologue, Crowe is shot and killed by a deranged former patient. Thinking he survived the gunshot, the ghost of the doctor just goes on with his normal life. He meets an especially troubled kid named Cole (Haley Joel Osment), the product of a broken home whose favorite hobby is hiding in churches and whispering Latin to board game pieces. Cole has mysterious cuts and bruises all over, and claims to see dead people (which, unbeknownst to Crowe, is the only reason the two of them can communicate).
The movie then shows us what a great, empathetic psychiatrist Crowe is, even in spirit form. Making a strong connection with Cole almost immediately, Crowe becomes Cole's voice of reason and sanity, going far beyond the call of duty to provide him with stability and advice and help him come to terms with his gift (or curse, as the case may be).
But Wait a Minute ...
The fact that Crowe can't talk to anyone but Cole is ... a fairly big problem here.
Perhaps he has always communicated by writing on fogged glass.
If you've forgotten, the key plot twist is that only the kid can see Crowe's ghost -- Crowe talks to Cole and no one else. Which means that one thing Crowe, genius child psychologist and literal child savior, doesn't do in his ardent mission to help this poor kid is talk to the kid's mother. Or teachers. Or anyone else that an actual child psychologist would be interested in talking to in order to gain some much-needed context and perspective on his patient.
Although after the Munchausen-by-proxy mom, can you really blame him?
Now, the movie excuses Crowe's lack of interaction with the world in general because he's deluded about the fact that he's dead -- his wife doesn't speak to him, but he assumes it's because their marriage has grown cold and distant. He doesn't have any friends because he has withdrawn from society since the shooting. But how in the hell could he think he was doing an awesome job at child psychology without talking to the people in the kid's life?
Because this is key information he's missing here -- did he not think Cole's mother might have something to say about the clearly visible injuries running up and down her child's arms? This means Crowe is apparently getting his entire case history exclusively from Cole, a kid whom he believes to be delusional. And it's not like a bunch of events conspire to prevent these conversations, either -- he's in the same room as Cole's mother several times, and instead of talking to her, he apparently just ... quietly stares at her.
Words won't tell you half as much about a person as a long, silent stare.
For example, eventually Cole gets hospitalized, and when the doctors in the ER see all of his cuts and bruises, they suspect Cole's mother might be abusive. They bring a social worker in to ask her some questions. As this is happening, Crowe is sitting right there, visibly disagreeing with what the ER doctor is saying. But rather than sharing his expert opinion and making sure Cole's mother doesn't go to jail, he just sits there. Does Crowe not understand that the mother is the one good thing in Cole's shitty life full of bullies and poltergeists? Why does it never occur to him to do anything but shun her?
"Note to self: I should probably get around to exonerating Cole's mom sometime."
We're kind of siding with the kid who shot him at this point.