& & by Mike Corrigan & & & &

If you passed Dr. Drew Pinsky on the street, you'd hardly even notice him. And in a dress shirt and tie, this well-groomed, decent-looking, obviously successful white male wouldn't exactly strike you as any sort of major counterculture figure. Buttoned-down Dr. Drew -- a rebel? Not a chance. Nevertheless, Pinsky -- star of radio, tube and Internet -- appeals primarily to teens and young adults, a demographic traditionally thought of as anti-establishment.

So what makes Dr. Drew so damned hip? It's simple, really. He offers something that is rare in our culture -- and even rarer among members of his target audience. That is informed, concise and unflinchingly honest answers to prickly questions. In case you haven't noticed, teens and young adults are positively bursting with prickly questions. He'll be speaking at Eastern Washington University on Friday as part of the university's Eastern Dialogues Speakers Series, which is dedicated to bringing interesting cultural and educational events to the community. The talk is free and open to everyone.

Pinsky is best known as co-host of MTV's popular Loveline, playing straight man to his wisecracking sidekick, Adam Carolla, dispensing advice about sex, drugs and relationships to a predominantly under-30 audience. But though the call-in advice program first appeared in 1996, the roots of the show go back another dozen years when Pinsky was still in medical school. While attending the USC School of Medicine, Pinsky was asked to come on the air of a Los Angeles radio station and co-host a late night program. What began as an opportunity to answer a few questions on radio has evolved into a show syndicated to more than 60 radio stations nationwide.

No mere talking head, "Dr Drew" is a board-certified internist and addictionologist. He is currently medical director for the Department of Chemical Dependency Services and the former chief of service in the Department of Medicine at Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena, Calif. Aside from the Lovelines radio and MTV gig, Pinsky has been a guest on Politically Incorrect and Larry King Live. In 1998, he authored a book with Carolla entitled The Dr. Drew and Adam Book: A Survival Guide to Life and Love, and he is the proud editor in chief of his very own Web site (www.drdrew.com). A perfect way to reach his target audience, this latest venture is a site rich with content, chat rooms, forums, exclusive celebrity interviews, home pages, user polls, instant messaging, buddy lists and great information on relationships, sex and health issues.

Pinsky may be America's latest, hippest celebrity doctor, but he's certainly a reluctant one. He's uncomfortable with the trappings of fame and the demands it places on his personal life (he's a husband and father of triplets). And in professional medicine, where trust, intimacy and privacy between doctor and patient is mandatory, Pinsky is ever mindful of the temptations that come with admission to the cult of celebrity. Ironically, it is this very status as a celebrity that places him in such a prime position to deliver advice that will resonate with a generation seemingly obsessed with stardom. Somehow, Dr. Drew is able to transcend the big bad stigma of fame and reach his audience with straight talk and a genuineness that appears refreshingly uncontrived.

& & & lt;i & Dr. Drew Pinsky speaks at EWU's Showalter Auditorium on Friday, Jan. 26, at 10:30 pm. Free. Call: 359-4701. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &

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