Mainstream media reacted with glee last week when a psychiatrist went public with claims President Trump is suffering from mentally instability – and worse. However these same media outlets now have egg on their face, because the psychiatrist they were so keen to promote as an authority on the president’s health appears not to have a license in her home state of Connecticut.
Update: Dr. Lee has clarified since the publication of this article that she “has always held a medical license in New York State. Her work is nationwide, she is Board-certified, and other licenses can be reinstated upon request as long as she holds one valid license.”
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The professor, Bandy Lee, made the headlines over the past few days when she made a diagnosis of the president as suffering from a “mental impairment” that would disqualify him from the highest office in the land.
Following Lee’s comments, the American Psychiatric Association released a statement on Tuesday warning members of its profession to refrain from making public diagnoses of public figures like Trump without a proper medical exam.
“We at the APA call for an end to psychiatrists providing professional opinions in the media about public figures whom they have not examined, whether it be on cable news appearances, books, or in social media,” wrote the APA, without mentioning Lee specifically. “Arm-chair psychiatry or the use of psychiatry as a political tool is the misuse of psychiatry and is unacceptable and unethical.”
Lee and her colleague responded to the issue in a piece to Politico on Wednesday, in which they claimed it is “perfectly OK to question the president’s mental state” because of their profession as “psychiatrists.”
The professor, who has met with lawmakers in Capitol Hill to talk about the issue, is now facing scrutiny amid allegations that she is not licensed to practice psychology in Connecticut.
Campus Reform reports that state records indicate that Lee’s “physician/surgeon” license expired some three years ago — on May 31, 2015 — and that her application for reinstatement has been pending ever since. The publication was able to produce Lee’s license details to back up the claim.
In addition to her pending physician’s license, the professor’s “controlled substance registration for practitioner” license is also lapsed, having expired last February. In other words, Lee is not legally able to prescribe medication as a medical practitioner.
Lee responded to Campus Reform’s inquiries, stating simply: “I only need one license.” She did not clarify precisely what license she has, or in which state she is registered.
Even though Dr. Lee is a real psychiatrist, she is breaking the profession’s most serious rule.
Diagnosing someone without meeting them, much less treating them, is a taboo in the medical profession. The American Psychiatric Association’s so-called “Goldwater Rule” prevents psychiatrists from offering a professional opinion on someone they haven’t treated.
That didn’t stop Dr. Lee from trying to make a quick buck with a book about Trump’s imagined mental health.