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There are Ph.D.'s... and there are Ph.D.'s.  Oh, and then there are other types of doctorates.

Most of us who have earned them... almost any of them... are a bit hesitant to use the title "Doctor" (though we have a right to it) in deference to the Medical Doctorate.  It is not that we think doctors are better than we, but we understand the need to keep our medical professionals distinct and the urgency of their actions understood.  

Some people try to blur this line, as does Dr. Laura Schlessinger, whose Ph.D. is in Physiology.  In Psychology, there are two types of "doctors."  One is, in fact, an M.D. (a psychiatrist).  The other is not (the other can be either a Ph.D. or a Psy.D.).  updated to clarify

Dr. Marcus Bachmann, husband to Michele?  Though his "practice" might lead one to believe he has an M.D., has a Ph.D.  He could, of course, be a psychologist of the second sort.

Or not.

According to his bio on his website, Dr. Bachmann earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from "Union Graduate School, OH."  He also claims he has practiced for 23 years, which would put his degree as earlier than 1988.

There are a number of problems with this.

Mike Signorile, on his blog The Gist, details them.  Personally, I have long been aware of the weakness of "doctorates" earned through the Union Graduate School or, as it later became, the Union Institute and University, as it is now known.  Though it is certainly possible to learn as much through Union as anywhere, its requirements (especially its residency requirements--it is really a "distance education" or "online" university) don't necessarily match those of most residential Ph.D. programs.

Certainly, Dr. Bachmann could have learned as much about clinical psychology there (or, actually, at home while enrolled there) as elsewhere, were he self-motivated enough, but one can learn as much as almost any Ph.D. on one's own, if one works hard enough.  But one has not put in the same work under the same direct supervision that is required for most doctorates.

Having a degree from Union does not mean Dr. Bachmann does not have a legitimate degree... but it does raise questions.

But that's not where it gets interesting.

According to another blogger, JARS (and I have checked, and agree), who sparked Signorile's post:

If Dr. Bachmann’s Ph.D. was completed prior to this date [1988], he might have graduated from The Union Graduate School which offered ONLY a Ph.D. in Arts and Sciences. If he graduated later than 1986, then he would have graduated from The Union Institute (1986), or The Union Institute and University (2001) and his Ph.D. would have been in Interdisciplinary Studies.

In other words, Union has never offered a degree in Clinical Psychology.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Doctor my ass! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronBa, bleedingheartliberal218

    Most likely a D.B.S. (Doctor of bull shit).

    "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

    by MikeTheLiberal on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 01:51:51 PM PDT

  •  As if it matters. (4+ / 0-)

    Discrediting "Dr." Bachmann has no legs. Her supporters hold no truck with book-learning.

    As far as they are concerned, all credentials come from Jesus.

    I wish there were a Wizard of Oz to give the GOP a heart, Democrats courage, and the media a brain.

    by Malacandra on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 01:57:38 PM PDT

  •  There is another doctorate for psychologists (4+ / 0-)

    the PsyD is a clinical psychology doctorate - focused on the delivery of therapy, as opposed to the more rigorously academic PhD.  The MD is what psychiatrists get.

    I really need a new signature that is lofty enough for DK4 - but I just haven't eaten enough arugula and sipped enough lattes to come up with one today. Sorry folks!

    by RethinkEverything on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 02:08:01 PM PDT

      •  That's because he earned one (2+ / 0-)

        How badly are you trying to insult Ph.D.s here?

        My avatar shows what proportion want reps who compromise (shown in blue) or who stand fast no matter what (shown in green). Left is Overall; center is Democrats; right is Republicans.

        Therein lies the problem.

        by Seneca Doane on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 02:25:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did he? (6+ / 0-)

          That's the question.

          If the school he claims a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from doesn't offer (and did not offer) a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, what degree did he earn?

          I am not trying to insult Ph.D.'s.  On the contrary, I am questioning the bonafides of a particular man.  He may have a legitimate degree, may have worked for it and earned it.  But there certainly are questions about it.

          •  Yes, he did (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Villanova Rhodes

            It's been documented in previous discussions.  The school used to offer a Ph.D. in Clinical Psych, then switched to a Psy.D. after Dr. Bachmann had earned his degree.

            Attack him where he's weak, not where he's strong.

            My avatar shows what proportion want reps who compromise (shown in blue) or who stand fast no matter what (shown in green). Left is Overall; center is Democrats; right is Republicans.

            Therein lies the problem.

            by Seneca Doane on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 02:39:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I Have Not Seen... (0+ / 0-)

              ...anywhere it says that Union offered a degree in Clinical Psychology.  Could you provide a link?  I have looked at the school's website and elsewhere, and find no indication of it.

              Also, a degree from Union is not considered much of a Ph.D.  Not all doctorates are the same, which is part of the point I am making.

              •  Yes, if Search weren't broken, I could (0+ / 0-)

                I'd have to search Google on "Union" "Bachmann" and "Clinical Psychology"; you can do it as well as I can.

                My avatar shows what proportion want reps who compromise (shown in blue) or who stand fast no matter what (shown in green). Left is Overall; center is Democrats; right is Republicans.

                Therein lies the problem.

                by Seneca Doane on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 02:51:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I commented in an earlier diary (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                that I suspected Union used to offer a Clinical Ph.D., before I read some of the more recent cites, and now don't know. I suspected it because it is (a) clear that their Psy.D. program is of recent vintage, though they've been training psychologists for some time, and (b) easy to find other people claiming the same degree, who appear to be legitimate faculty members of respectable institutions. I have no idea whether Bachmann actually holds the degree, but these aren't Cracker Jack prizes, even if they're partly from distance learning. Of course not even all earned Ph.D.s are the same, but people can judge for themselves the quality of the granting institution. I never heard of it before, but Union doesn't appear to be the grad school equivalent of Liberty U. It's a nontraditional approach to learning that has its problems for hands-on fields but is not by definition suspect.

                I was pointed to a Wiki article on Union, which I find suggestive of the idea that there used to be one Arts & Sciences Ph.D., with concentrations. (Those who lived through the whole Interdisciplinary Studies fad probably don't find this that unusual.) That may or may not make any practical difference in the quality of his training, but probably made it difficult for Union to get APA accreditation that would facilitate licensure for its grads. That would be one reason for the reorganization.

                Because I don't automatically trust Wiki and find the article a little oddly written, I do not find either that article or the JARS link above dispositive. Really, are there no journalists who have picked up the phone and just asked Union?

                Psychologists are overwhelmingly Democratic and liberal. What good can come of the indiscriminate trashing around here?

                •  "Inordinate Trashing"? (0+ / 0-)

                  The questions are legitimate.  When anyone sets himself or herself up as a specialist, it is quite natural to ask them to provide proof of their training.

                  Bachmann may, in fact, be a fine clinical practitioner.  I don't know.  But that's not the point.

                  Let's see how the Bachmanns respond to all of this.

                  •  Yes, this is so very specific to him: (0+ / 0-)
                    Also, a degree from Union is not considered much of a Ph.D.

                    Yours is not the first diary on the subject, which is fine, but read some of the others and you'll find comments that go far beyond legitimate questions about a specific person, degree, therapy type, or institution.

                    I'm not their cheerleading squad, but when I think about psychologists, "Republican" isn't the first word that comes to mind. But I imagine they can overlook insults just like the lawyers overlook the trash talk about them, and keep voting the way you want them to.

                    Sorry, I appear to be getting cranky, so I'm off now.

                    •  Well, Goodbye, But... (0+ / 0-)

                      ...a correspondence-course degree completed without direct hands-on work with faculty over an extended period of time is generally not considered much of a degree.  I'm sorry if that offends you, but it is the truth.

                      Also, I am curious why you keep mentioning the political leanings of psychologists.  I am not one, that's for sure.

                      •  It doesn't offend me, because I got mine the (0+ / 0-)

                        long, old fashioned, expensive way. It might offend the Democratic Congressman from the 7th District of Illinois, or Congresswoman Jane Harman's late husband (that slouch of Harman/Kardon fame), or Rita Mae Brown, all of whom got Ph.D.s from Union.

                        The more I look into the Union Institute/Graduate School situation, the more it looks like you really have to know the years of attendance and who was then on faculty there, among other things. It is beyond my time or interest to figure out whether Marcus Bachmann got a good or bad education there -- it sounds like the school has delivered both in its tumultuous history.

                        I mention the political leanings of psychologists because I try not to insult my political allies unnecessarily. I think overly broad attacks on particular schools, or on people who dare to use "Dr" when they come from the wrong kind of accredited schools are unnecessary. Have I snickered in private conversations about such things? No doubt. But I don't do so where I don't know my audience. I'm sure I grossly overestimate how many readers any given diary gets, though, so probably much ado about not much!

        •  Good point - he gets props for the PhD, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          just not one specifically granted to clinical psychologists for a program dedicated to this practice.

          I really need a new signature that is lofty enough for DK4 - but I just haven't eaten enough arugula and sipped enough lattes to come up with one today. Sorry folks!

          by RethinkEverything on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 02:29:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Well, he also claims to "cure" gays (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AaronBa, sfbob, Mortifyd

        so anything he says should be taken with a grain of salt.  Oh, and he is also married to Michele Bachmann, so that probably also calls his sanity into question!  As an added bonus, she didn't exactly get her law degree through the traditionally respected institutions...

        I really need a new signature that is lofty enough for DK4 - but I just haven't eaten enough arugula and sipped enough lattes to come up with one today. Sorry folks!

        by RethinkEverything on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 02:27:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You might want to edit your diary, (0+ / 0-)

        since this:

        In Psychology, there are two types of "doctors."  One is, in fact, an M.D.  The other is not.

        is wrong, as you seem to acknowledge here. In psychology, there are two types of doctoral degrees (no scare quotes needed). One is a Ph.D., which may be in clinical psychology or any of many, many other areas of psychology; one is a Psy.D., which is in clinical psychology but is more practice-oriented than academic.

        Medical doctors (M.D., O.D.) may hold themselves out as psychiatrists with no, nada, zip, zilch mental health training. Board certified psychiatrists have pertinent education and training, but one need not be board certified to practice psychiatry.

        Frighteningly enough, it is likely that Dr. Bachmann has better training -- regardless of how he's using it -- than many psychiatrists who are treating the same kinds of patients.

  •  "Choose from a full range of psychology degrees" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronBa, cassandracarolina

    reads the advertisement next to the comments section for this diary. Oh, the ironies created by automated ad placement!

    But seriously, to some extent where and in what field Dr. Bachman got his degree is irrelevant. If the State of Minnesota licensed him as a clinical psychologist/psychotherapist, then he's eligible to practice in that state. It is possible to be licensed without graduating from a nationally-accredited program, but it requires a lot more paperwork to show that the applicant's training and experience (such as course work and supervised clinical experience) meets the state's licensing standards. And of course, less-than-stellar clinicians can graduate from accredited programs.

  •  Also question whether he is a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronBa, sfbob

    licensed clinical psychologist.  I believe most states require more than just a degree; psychologists also have to pass licensing requirements (tests, background checks, etc.).

  •  No license needed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronBa, deMemedeMedia

    According to the linked items, there is no requirement for licensure for "mental health treatment" in Minnesota, one of only a few states, apparently, that allow for this.  For once I'm glad I live in Ohio!

    Great evil has been done on earth by people who think they have all the answers. - Lynn W Andrews 1987

    by Spirit of Life on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 02:33:13 PM PDT

  •  website is down since state is closed down (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but if the licensing board ever reopens, then a challenge to his practice license could be filed but I suspect he hides behind degreed employees or else relies on his Masters for licensing purposes

    •  His M.A. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is from Regent University and is in Education.

      I doubt that's going to work for licensing in clinical psychology... but I don't really know.  Maybe there are others avenues to licensing... if it is needed at all.

      •  That is the only thesis (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AaronBa, jo fish, MKSinSA

        that pulls up on the Worldcat database of dissertations and theses.  Wouldn't a Psychology doctorate require a dissertation?

        The citation:

        Title:     Childcare dilemma
        Author(s):     Bachmann, Marcus.
        Publication:     Virginia Beach, Virginia : CBN University,
        Year:     1988, ?
        Description:     vii, 38 p.
        Dissertation:     Thesis (M.A.)--CBN University, 1988.
        Language:     English
        Descriptor:     Day care centers.
        Child care services.
        Nursery schools.
        Note(s):     Bibliography : p. 36-38.
        Reproduction: Photocopy./ Ann Arbor, Mich. :/ Xerox University Microfilms,/ 1990/ 21 cm.
        Class Descriptors:     LC: HV851
        Responsibility:     by Marcus Bachmann.
        Material Type:     Thesis/dissertation (deg)
        Document Type:     Book
        Entry:     19930624
        Update:     20040226
        Accession No:     OCLC: 28321364
        Database:     WorldCatDissertations

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