DR. PHIL Biography - Famous Medicine & health care related men and women


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Name: Phil McGraw                                                                           
Born: 1 September 1950 Vinita, Oklahoma, U.S.                                               
Phillip Calvin McGraw (born September 1, 1950), best known as Dr. Phil, is an               
American television personality, psychologist and author who is the host of the             
psychology themed television show Dr. Phil. He gained celebrity status following           
appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show.                                                     
McGraw was born in Vinita, Oklahoma, the son of Jerry and Joe                               
McGraw. He grew up with two older sisters, Deana and Donna, and younger                     
sister, Brenda, in the oilfields of North Texas, where his father was an                   
equipment supplier. During McGraw's childhood, his family moved so his father               
could pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a psychologist. McGraw attended                   
Shawnee Mission North High School in Mission, Kansas. In 1968, he was awarded a             
football scholarship to the University of Tulsa, where he played middle                     
linebacker under Coach Glenn Dobbs (father of Gary Dobbs, who later went into               
business with McGraw). On November 23rd of that year McGraw's team lost to the             
University of Houston 100-6, which is still one of the most lopsided games in               
college football history. Coach Dobbs retired after that season, and                       
McGraw transferred to Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, where           
he graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. He went on to           
earn a Master's degree in experimental psychology in 1976, and a Ph.D in                   
clinical psychology in 1979 at the University of North Texas, where his                     
dissertation was titled "Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Psychological Intervention." He           
also participated in the swimming programs at the two schools.                             
McGraw owned a construction business with his brother-in-law while completing               
his internship for his Ph.D.                                                               
After graduation, Phillip McGraw joined his father, Dr. Joe McGraw, in Wichita             
Falls, Texas, where the elder McGraw had established his private psychology                 
In 1983, McGraw and his father joined Thelma Box, a successful Texas business               
woman, in presenting "Pathways" (later called "Choices"), a seminar to "assist             
people in living their lives with clarity and passion." Critics claim that                 
many of the "phrases and the terminology and the quaint sayings" used by McGraw             
on the Oprah and Dr. Phil shows were originated by Box and presented by McGraw             
in this seminar. McGraw admits that the material from Life Strategies, his first           
best seller, is taken directly from the Pathways seminar. However, he has never             
mentioned Thelma Box or her contributions to his success in any of his books or             
TV shows.                                                                                   
In 1989, McGraw was sanctioned by the Texas State Board of Examiners of                     
Psychologists for an ethical violation involving a 19-year-old patient and                 
employee. Due to the sanctions, McGraw was unable to practice psychology                   
independently. Friction between Phillip and his father increased to the                     
point that McGraw seldom spoke with his father, and his contempt for him became             
In 1990, McGraw joined lawyer Gary Dobbs, the son of McGraw's college football             
coach, in co-founding Courtroom Sciences, Inc. (CSI), a trial consulting firm               
through which McGraw later came into contact with Oprah Winfrey. Their first               
couple of years in business were not financially successful. On October 15, 1991,           
McGraw signed an agreement for the sale of his Pathways seminar stock for $325,000         
without notifying either his father or Thelma Box of the impending sale. "There             
was a feeling of betrayal because Phil had compromised the integrity of the                 
program. In effect, he helped rip off Thelma [Box] and her asset value in the               
corporation by selling behind her back." Eventually, CSI became a profitable               
enterprise, advising Fortune 500 companies and injured plaintiffs alike in                 
achieving settlements. McGraw is no longer an officer or director of the company.           
In 1995, Oprah Winfrey hired CSI to prepare her for the Amarillo Texas beef                 
trial. Winfrey was so impressed with McGraw that she thanked him for her victory           
in that case, which ended in 1998. Soon after, she invited him to appear on her             
show. His appearance proved so successful that he began appearing weekly as a "Relationship 
and Life Strategy Expert" on Tuesdays starting in April 1998.                               
The next year, McGraw published his first best-selling book, Life Strategies,               
most of which was taken from the "Pathways" seminar that was originated by                 
Thelma Box. In the next four years, McGraw published three additional best-selling         
relationship books, along with workbooks to complement them.                               
By September, 2002, McGraw formed Peteski Productions and launched his own                 
syndicated daily television show, Dr. Phil, produced by Winfrey's Harpo Studios.           
The format is an advice show, where he tackles a different topic on each show,             
offering advice for his guests' troubles.                                                   
McGraw shifted focus in 2003-4 to emphasize weight loss shows, books and                   
products. His sisters Deana and Brenda and nephew Tony were among the featured             
testimonials on the Dr. Phil show. Within a few years, a Federal Trade                     
Commission (FTC) probe and class-action lawsuit forced him to exit the weight               
loss business.                                                                             
In 2005, McGraw published another best-selling book, Family First, along with a             
workbook. He also signed a five-year extension of his syndication deal with his             
show's distributors, King World Productions, Inc. The deal will pay McGraw $15             
million a year and keep the show in production through the 2013-2014                       
television season.                                                                         
After son Jay's television show Renovate My Family (a clone of ABC's Extreme               
Makeover: Home Edition) was canceled at the start of its second season in 2005,             
following a renovated family lawsuit, McGraw and his son formed Stage 29                   
Productions. A week later, they announced a new show called Moochers (a                     
clone of ABC's Kicked Out), and McGraw released his last book, Love Smart.                 
However, the show was canceled before any episodes aired, and the book failed to           
achieve the success of his previous bestsellers.                                           
In 2006, the Dr. Phil House (a clone of CBS's Big Brother) began airing as part             
of the Dr. Phil television show. Following a protest by neighbors, the house in             
Los Angeles was shut down, and production resumed on a sound stage in a studio             
back lot. McGraw reached the number 22 spot on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list,               
with income of $45 milion.                                                                 
Another Stage 29 show, Decision House (a remix of the Dr. Phil House) aired from           
September through November, 2007 but was canceled due to poor reviews and dismal           
ratings. Ratings for the Dr. Phil show in 2007 began to slide. In May,                     
viewership was close to 7 million people. However, by year's end, viewership               
was about 5.5 million people (#10 for syndicated TV shows, and just under                   
Everybody Loves Raymond, Family Guy and CSI: Miami). McGraw's income fell by               
1/3 to $30 million, and he dropped to the number 30 spot on the Forbes Celebrity           
100 list.                                                                                   
Late in 2007, McGraw began promoting his upcoming Dr. Phil Show extension, The             
Doctors, which is set to launch in Fall 2008. The show will be hosted by                   
television personality and ER physician Dr. Travis Stork (The Bachelor). Other             
experts include various personalities who have appeared on the Dr. Phil show               
over the years. They are Dr. Lisa Masterson, an obstetrician/gynecologist; Dr.             
Andrew Ordon, a plastic surgeon; Dr. Tara Fields, a licensed marriage and family           
therapist; and Dr. Jim Sears, a pediatrician. These doctors will make                       
appearances on the Dr. Phil show throughout the 2007-08 season so that McGraw               
can instruct them on "how to give articulate medical advice while being                     
scrutinized by a studio audience in Los Angeles." Jay McGraw (Dr. Phil's older             
son) will be executive producer of the new show.                                           
In January, 2008, McGraw visited celebrity Britney Spears in her hospital room.             
The visit and subsequent press release by McGraw drew criticism from the Spears             
family and from mental health professionals.