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Who Is Dr. Phil McGraw?
Dr. Phill is a household name, not just in the United States but around the world. Phillip Calvin McGraw, popularly known as Dr. Phil, is best known as the host of the top-rated daytime talk show Dr. Phil.
On Dr. Phil, McGraw offers advice to the guest on the show based on his experience as a psychologist. On every episode, an average of two million viewers tune in to watch the show. As a result, this has garnered him huge fans all over the world.
But even with over a million followers on Instagram, the Dr. Phil host still faces backlash raising some questions about him. One of these questions is whether or not Dr. Phil is a real doctor.
And this is one of the questions we’ll answer in this article. But first, let us learn more about McGraw’s early life, his entry into the television world, and his accomplishments so far.
Is Phillip Calvin McGraw (Dr. Phil) a Real Doctor?
The short answer is no, Dr. Phil isn’t a real doctor. At least, not currently.
McGraw has never been licensed as a physician in any of the US states.
However, he is a doctor in the academic sense. He has a doctorate in psychology from the University of Northern Texas State.
It’s also important to point out that Dr. Phil was a licensed psychologist from 1979 to 2006. He was licensed to practice in Texas.
However, following some accusations of misconduct, McGraw “voluntarily surrendered” his license to practice psychology in Texas. This, of course, means that he can not provide professional counseling services in any state, including California, his state of residence.
This, naturally, raises the question of whether Dr. Phil is practicing without a license by offering the services of a psychologist on his talk show. This would be a crime.
Apparently, though, McGraw asks the guests on his show to sign documents acknowledging that they only receive “advice,” not counseling, on the program. This frees him from any legal liability.
Phillip Calvin McGraw was born on September 1, 1950, in Vinita, Oklahoma, United States. His father, Joseph McGraw, was an equipment supplier in an oil rig, while his mother, Anne Geraldine, was a homemaker.
Joseph and Anne McGraw raised Phillip and his three sisters in rural Oklahoma and Texas. This was until Joseph McGraw moved his family to Kansas to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a psychologist.
It was there in Kansas that Phillip completed high school. This was at a public secondary school in Overland Park called Shawnee Mission North High School.
After high school, McGraw got admission into Midwestern State University, where he earned a B.A. in psychology.
Still following in his father’s footsteps, McGraw went further to obtain an M.A. in experimental psychology at the Midwestern State University. He also bagged a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of North Texas (formerly known as North Texas State University).
After receiving his Ph.D. degree, McGraw also went to Wilmington Institute, where he completed a one-year postdoctoral program in forensic psychology.
How The Dr. Phil Show Started
After obtaining his doctorate degree, McGraw spent many years working as a private practitioner. This was before co-founding a trial consulting firm, Courtroom Sciences, Inc. (CSI).
Co-founded with attorney Gary Dobbs in 1990, CSI offers services in United States litigation psychology, trial consulting, jury selection, witness training, and depositions.
In 1995, the renowned American talk show host Oprah Winfrey consulted CSI for her Amarillo Texas beef trial. After winning the case, Oprah Winfrey invited McGraw on her show.
McGraw’s career in television started in 1998 after making a recurring appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Following his success on Winfrey’s show, McGraw launched the Dr. Phil TV talk show, which premiered in 2002 under Harpo Studios, founded by Winfrey.
On the talk show, McGraw acts as a life strategy and relationship expert. In the past two decades, Dr. Phil has aired over 4,000 episodes.
Sadly, the 72-year-old will end the talk show after its current 2022-23 season.
“I have been blessed with over 25 wonderful years in daytime television. With this show, we have helped thousands of guests and millions of viewers through everything from addiction and marriage to mental wellness and raising children. This has been an incredible chapter of my life and career, but while I’m moving on from daytime, there is so much more I wish to do.”
—– McGraw told PEOPLE Magazine
Awards, Honors And Accomplishments
Over the years, McGraw has bagged numerous nominations and awards. The daytime talk show host has received many nominations, from Daytime Emmy Awards to People’s Choice Awards, USA, and Aftonbladet TV Prize (Sweden) award.
So far, he has won 2 Daytime Emmy Awards (in 2010 and 2019). In 2015, the two-time Emmy Award-winning Executive Producer was also inducted into the B+C (Broadcasting & Cable) Hall of Fame.
He also took home the 2014 Aftonbladet TV Prize (Sweden) award in the category: Best Foreign TV Personality – Male (Bästa utländska manliga tv-personlighet).
McGraw is also one of the recipients of the star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6201 Hollywood Boulevard on February 21, 2020.
Phillip C. McGraw also owns a charitable organization called Dr. Phil Foundation. He established the organization alongside his wife, Robin McGraw, to improve the lives of children.
The nonprofit humanitarian organization provides funding for numerous initiatives that aid underprivileged kids and families experiencing domestic violence.
Although millions of viewers will undoubtedly miss McGraw on Dr. Phil, the talk show host has been the subject of some controversies. He has been accused of sexual misconduct by a number of his patients.
In 2018, he faced a backlash for his statement following his visit to pop star Britney Spears in the hospital and trying to air a show about her. He visited Spears at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, when the singer was struggling to hand over custody of her two sons to her ex-husband Kevin Federline.
After his visit, he released a statement saying: “My meeting [with Britney] left me convinced more than ever that she’s in dire need of medical and psychological intervention.” Due to the backlash he received, he scrapped plans to air a show about the American singer.
He also released a statement explaining his visit to Spears. McGraw mentioned in the released statement that he had no plans to return to private practice and that he does not need to hold a license.
“You still have to call me Dr. Phil,” he said, citing his years of experience and Ph.D.
What Are His Famous Books?
Dr. Phil is the author of multiple #1 New York Times bestsellers published in 39 languages and has more than 50 million copies in print.
Does Dr. Phil Have A Foundation?
Together with his wife, they are well-known for their philanthropic work advocating for children and families. Dr. Phil McGraw established the Dr. Phil Foundation, now known as When Georgia Smiled, a Robin McGraw and Dr. Phil Foundation, in 2003.
Their foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization that funds many projects that benefit disadvantaged children and families battling Domestic Violence.
They also supported other charitable organizations, including Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), by devoting hours to CASA’s recruitment projects.
Has Dr. Phil Received Awards?
The Dr. Phil show held the #1 spot in its genre for the last nine years and received 30 Emmy nominations. He also won 5 PRISM Awards for the accurate depiction of drug, and alcohol abuse, and addiction and the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers Media Award.
Dr. Phil is a two-time Emmy Award-winning Executive Producer. In February 2020, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Why Did Dr. Phil’s License Revoke?
Phil has a degree in psychology, but he isn’t a professional psychologist because he chose to let his license lapse. He has never been licensed to practice medicine in California, where he shoots. In 2006, he retired from his active Texas license.
Phillip McGraw, a.k.a. Dr. Phil, is not technically a doctor anymore since he no longer has a license as a psychologist. The Doctor title attached to his name is there because of his academic qualifications.