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Is the Doctor In? TV Docs¶ Actual Credentials
By: Allison Ford (View Profile) Our culture¶s obsession with celebrity has gone far beyond the usual matinee idols and pop superstars. These days, even our service providers and small-business owners are famous. There are celebrity chefs, celebrity event planners, celebrity hairstylists, and even a celebrity dog trainer. It¶s understandable how some notoriety would boost the careers of dancers and designers, but celebrity doctors are a puzzling and thought-provoking bunch. Surely a real doctor doesn¶t go to school for a dozen years just so he can sit down with Oprah, but are these people even real doctors in the first place? Anyone on television calling himself or herself ³Dr. So-andSo´ has to have some sort of legitimate medical background, right? Right? The truth is that some of our most famous advice-dispensing professionals are just like many other celebrities in Hollywood²not always what they seem. Dr. Phil Dr. Phil McGraw, the nation¶s most visible proponent of ³getting real´ about problems, does have a bachelor¶s degree in psychology, a master¶s degree in experimental psychology, and a PhD in clinical psychology, but what he doesn¶t have is a license to practice those healing arts. McGraw started in private practice, but after just a few years, he became embroiled in a miniscandal involving a young female employee (who was also his patient), who alleged that they had conducted an ³inappropriate relationship.´ McGraw never admitted any wrongdoing, but the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists levied some serious penalties against the doctor, including court-ordered counseling, a public letter of apology, and ethics classes. Soon after, McGraw quit counseling altogether to start a firm

including Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives. and eventually helped him get his own show in 2002. he retired his license to practice in Texas as well. The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands. a board-certified internist who specializes in treating addiction. It¶s about moral health. making her one of the country¶s most popular talk-radio personalities. and in 1980. Drew. and child counseling in California. ³My goal was always to be part of pop culture and relevant to young people. He still co-hosts the program. He became part of pop culture while still doing his residency. and hosting VH1¶s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. family. Dr. Laura has been quoted as saying. which was published in the Journal of Research in Personality. she received a license to practice marriage. Despite her focus on family relationships. along with maintaining his private psychiatric practice. he was also the director of the Department of Chemical Dependency Services at Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena.´ .advising witnesses in litigation.´ Dr. Despite conducting on-camera interventions and encouraging people to face their problems. when he was asked to co-host a call-in radio program that would eventually morph into the MTV hit Loveline. She has been hosting her own advice show since the mid-1970s. and he¶s certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. Her advice solidly advocates personal responsibility and traditional values. despite the fact that her doctorate is in a completely unrelated field: Schlessinger earned a PhD from Columbia University in 1974. She has written over a dozen books. Laura Dr. Until March 2010. and in 2006. Drew Although he¶s become synonymous with strung-out celebrities. and Parenthood By Proxy: Don¶t Have Them If You Won¶t Raise Them. he has remained unlicensed ever since. ³My show is not about mental health. After Oprah Winfrey hired his company when Texas beef producers sued her. working as a professor at USC¶s Keck School of Medicine. and she has come under fire for suggesting that homosexuals are ³biological errors. he has always maintained that his business is to entertain. Dr. He never applied for a license in California. to interact with the people they hold in high esteem.´ advocating that mothers of young children should not work outside the home and blaming women for their husbands¶ infidelities. Drew Pinsky is actually a highly qualified medical doctor. she began inviting him onto her show as a relationship and life-strategy expert. He authored a definitive paper on celebrities and narcissism. I don¶t give advice. Laura Schlessinger has been advising callers on her radio program for over thirty years. in the field of physiology. Dr. not provide any sort of therapy or counseling. and continues to specialize in celebrities and mass media. I give my never-to-be-humble opinion. He told the New York Times in 2008.

Ruth Westheimer has made it her mission to empower and enlighten on the subject of sexuality.´ and she¶s the author of over thirty-five books on sexual health. ³Get some. and her EdD from Columbia. . after moving to the United States.Dr. Ruth was asked to present a show on local New York radio about sexuality and sexual health. She has written and lectured on sexual satisfaction and reproductive health for over three decades. see a doctor. and his MD and MBA concurrently from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Wharton Business School. In person. promoting freer. Mehmet Oz still maintains a private practice in which he performs about 250 cardiovascular and thoracic surgeries per year.) If you have real medical or psychological issues that need to be addressed. Although he now has his own television program and radio show. on which he addresses lifestyle and health concerns. Dr. franker discussions of sexual issues and encouraging everyone to enjoy sex safely and regularly with her trademark phrase. she received a master¶s degree in sociology from the New School. and every health concern in between earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard. Ruth. German-born Westheimer studied psychology at the Sorbonne. and eventually that show. Ruth Dr. Oz Oprah¶s go-to guy for information on poop. you should accept advice ³experts´ dispense on television only for its entertainment value. she writes her own sex column. Whether the doctor¶s credentials are impressive or inconsistent. called ³Ask Dr. In addition to his best-selling You: The Owners¶ Manualseries of books. and. but her actual PhD is in the field of education. (The same goes for advice dispensed over the Internet. became a national television program as well. Sexually Speaking.´ Dr. Oz has also authored and coauthored medical textbooks and scholarly articles. and he¶s the vice chair and professor of surgery at Columbia University¶s College of Physicians and Surgeons. weight loss. In the early 1980s. Dr.