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Oncology Overdrive

Aug 25, 2022

In this episode, host Shikha Jain, MD, speaks with Ragy Girgis, MD, MS, about findings from the Columbia Mass Murder Database he co-developed, the associations between mental illness and mass shootings and more.

Content Warning: This episode contains discussions of gun violence and suicide. Listener discretion is advised.

  • Welcome to another exciting episode of Oncology Overdrive :14
  • About Girgis :24
  • The interview: 1:51
  • How did you find yourself working in psychiatry, and specifically, in the field of looking at mass murders and gun violence? 2:04
  • Do you have any thoughts on mental health in the US vs. other countries? How do you address people who give that rhetoric when they talk about these scenarios? 4:27
  • Why create this database? ... What do we learn from this type of work? 5:26
  • Why do you think people commit mass murder with guns? 8:17
  • Do you have any thoughts as to why we’re seeing more of these happening now than we did in the past? 11:05
  • Is there any data or difference in violence committed by women vs. men, and whether they are more likely to be prone to violence or more likely to execute a mass shooting event? 13:11
  • What do we need to do make these changes and advocate for this? … How do we take this data, this information, and then move on it? 17:29
  • Is there hope for the future when we talk about these things? … Looking at the data, is this something that we can strive for or may change? 21:03
  • What are your future plans for this type of work and your research? What are you thinking the next steps are going to be? 26:48
  • If someone could only listen to 2 minutes of this episode, what would you want them to take away? 29:14
  • How to contact Girgis 30:10
  • Thanks for listening 31:14


Brucato G, et al. Psychol Med. 2021;doi:10.1017/S0033291721000076.

Ragi Girgis, MD, MS, is associate professor of clinical psychiatry at the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry and New York State Psychiatric Institute.

We’d love to hear from you! Send your comments/questions to Dr. Jain at Follow us on Twitter @HemOncToday and @ShikhaJainMD. Girgis can be reached by searching Ragy Girgis on Columbia University’s website.

Disclosures: Jain reports no relevant financial disclosures. Girgis reports he is a paid consultant for IMS Expert Services, a paid consultant for Noble Insights research firm, and receives royalties from Wipf and Stock Book.