Dr Phil McGraw is an American Television personality, an author, and a former psychologist who is the host of the television show Dr Phil. He holds a doctorate in clinical psychology but lacks the license to practise. He first gained prominence by appearing on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in the late 1990s.
Dr Phil Biography
McGraw was born in Vinita, Oklahoma, on September 1, 1950. Dr Phil is the son of Joseph J. McGraw Jr. and his wife Anne Geraldine “Jerry”. He grew up with two older sisters, Deana and Donna and younger sister Brenda in the oil fields of North Texas where his father was an equipment supplier. During McGraw’s childhood, his family moved so his father could pursue a lifelong goal of being a psychologist.
Dr Phil Age
McGraw is 69 years old.
Dr Phil Education
McGraw played college football for the University of Tulsa and Midwestern State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. He then earned his masters in Arts in experimental psychology and P.H.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Texas. He began working in private practice for several years while also holding large seminars for patients. His fame began in 1998 when he started making weekly appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show. With his catchphrase, ‘Get real’ the plain-spoken doctor served common sense advice rather than self-help jargon, his demeanour making him someone even though guys felt comfortable learning from. Oprah Winfrey then helped him launch his own program, Dr Phil in 2002 with the show adopting a different strategy from Winfrey with it being an advice show. In October 2003 he launched the Dr Phil Foundation with the primary motive of fighting childhood obesity.
McGraw does not have a license to practice psychology of any kind in Texas or any other state in the United States. McGraw has been involved in several controversies which put his license to practice at risk. In January 1989, he was brought up on ethics charges for having an inappropriate non-physical relationship with a patient in Texas. A formal criminal complaint was filed against him in California in 2008 for practising psychology without professional license or certification and violating doctor-patient confidentiality in connection with an incident with Britney spears in 2008. McGraw later voluntarily surrendered his license in 2006, and since then he has never held a license to practice psychology in any other state, including California. As a result, several leading clinical psychologists in California question whether his program is legally mandated, thus violating the law by offering the services of a psychologist. The questions arise despite the voluminous paperwork that his production company asks the guests to sign, stating that they are only receiving “advice” on the program. Practising psychology without a license in California is a felony.
McGraw also founded a company called Courtroom Sciences, Inc. The venture helped trial lawyers build cases via mock trials, behavioral analysis, jury selection, and mediation. It was through Courtroom Sciences that Dr Phil met Oprah Winfrey.
Dr Phil Marriage
Dr Phil is married to his long term partner and wife Robin Jo Jameson. They met in 1973 when McGraw was in the process of annulling his marriage, and they later married in 1976. McGraw was initially married to his first wife an ex-cheerleader, and homecoming Queen named Debbie Higgins McCall. The two were married when McGraw was only 20 years. Debbie later said that McGraw was domineering and would not allow her to participate in the family business. She also stated that she was confined to domestic duties and instructed to begin weight lifting to improve her bustline.
Dr Phil has two children with Robin, Jay McGraw and Jordan McGraw. McGraw identifies himself as a Christian. He is also a private pilot with an instrumental rating, flying single-engine airplanes.
Dr Phil Controversial Coronavirus Stand
Dr Phil is not new to controversy. He was recently criticized after claiming that quarantines should not be in place on Fox News. When as a guest on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show, he compared coronavirus deaths to smoking, crashes, and swimming pool accidents.
“The fact of the matter is we have 45,000 people a year die from automobile accidents, 480,000 from cigarettes, 360,000 from swimming pools and we don’t shut the country down for that, and yet we are doing it for this, and the fallout is going to last for years because people’s lives are going to be destroyed,”
Dr. Phil appears on Laura Ingraham and says we don’t shut the country down for automobile deaths, cigarette related deaths, and swimming pool deaths pic.twitter.com/q8KCgLLClY
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) April 17, 2020
McGraw also stated that the lockdown would “actually create more deaths across time than the actual virus will itself” due to poverty and loneliness. Contrary to the comments made by McGraw, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 38800 people were killed in traffic crashes last year. Moreover, the C.D.C. indicated that 3536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) occurred annually in the United States that translated to about ten people per day. An additional 332 people died each year from drowning in boating-related accidents. While the number was high, it fell short of the 360000 a year figure given by McGraw. Nevertheless, the C.D.C. does estimate that indeed 480000 deaths occurred annually, including deaths from secondhand smoke.
Another individual that made similar controversial claims is Dr Mehmet Oz. Many critics took to social media to indicate their dissatisfaction that besides giving largely inaccurate death toll figures, the examples that McGraw listed were not contagious diseases.
My friend caught an auto accident, didn't know he had it… brought it to work, and the receptionist caught it. 3 days later, she got ill. They sent everyone home but it was too late. 70 people at his job caught the auto accident from her and 10 ended up in the ICU on ventilators
— Jim (@jadoba) April 17, 2020
McGraw took to YouTube on his channel on Friday afternoon to apologize and to clarify some of his remarks made on Fox. He said that swimming data he cited was the World Health Organization’s global death count for swimming incidents, not U.S numbers, admitting that swimming, car crashes and smoking “are not contagious, so probably bad examples.”
The backlash was so bad to an extent that people netizens felt Oprah Winfrey should apologize for giving Dr Phil and Oz a platform on her show. Dr Mehmez Oz suggested that it may “only cost us” 2% to 3% of American lives to reopen schools.
The only reason why "Dr" Phil and "Dr" Oz have a platform is because of the clout they got from Oprah. They're now using that good faith to endanger lives on Fox News during a pandemic. @Oprah HAS to clearly denounce them otherwise her silence will be viewed and used as approval. pic.twitter.com/FCitU4BasG
— Tuxedo Mask (@TheLoveBel0w) April 17, 2020