Celebrating 50 Sessions with “50 First Dates”

Guess who’s turning 50?! Well, technically the podcast turned 3 years old last month, but today we are launching our 50th session! 
Join Dr. Sam & Dr. Fran as they put 50 First Dates on the couch! In this modern, rom-com classic starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, they explain different types of amnesia and estimate which type of amnesia Lucy may be experiencing. Is Lucy’s inability to remember her boyfriend Henry accurate? Would you be surprised to learn that some of the examples of amnesia portrayed in the movie are based on real-life experiences? 
To understand amnesia, the doctors also briefly explain how our memory works. They break down the different stages and types of memory. Finally, they also review what support and treatment for someone with amnesia may look like. Would doctors recommend tricking a loved one into re-living the same day over and over? 
Wait, what were we just talking about? Listen to this week’s session to find out!

Glossary of Terms

Memory – the ability to retain and recall information from the past

Encoding – stage of memory where where the brain receives new information and creates a series of connections to represent that information

Storage – stage of memory where some of the information is transferred from short-term memory into the storage of long-term memory

Retrieval stage of memory where the information stored in long-term memory is recalled

Declarative memory – recollection of facts (e.g., dates, specific pieces of information) 

Non-declarative/procedural memory – recollection of how to do something (e.g., riding a bike)

Amnesia – profound memory loss (not just ordinary forgetfulness)

Anterograde Amnesia – type of amnesia where one can’t form new memories after the event that caused the amnesia.

Retrograde Amnesia – type of amnesia where one can’t recall memories that were formed before the event that caused the amnesia


Amnesia is a major theme of today’s episode. Learn more about this condition here.

Dr. Sam and Dr. Fran share some real case studies of individuals with amnesia, including Michelle Philpot who Lucy’s character is loosely based off of. 

While memory is very complex, Drs. Sam and Fran share some key terms and concepts in today’s episode. Take a deeper dive in this article.

We discuss how the treatment portrayed in 50 First Dates is only partially accurate – learn more about real-life treatments for anterograde amnesia here.