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who is this "other" Dr. Phil?

or why I no doubt will have strange 
visitors come to my web pages...

If you are looking for Dr. Phil, aka Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon, who teaches
Physics at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan -- this is the 
right place.

dr phil on TV

If you are looking for Dr. Phil, friend of Oprah, who hosts a TV show -- this
is very much the WRONG PLACE.  His name is Phil McGraw.  He's from Texas.  And
you'll have to go somewhere else. Sorry. Try here. NOTE: Link updated 7-18-2007.

PLEASE don't call, write or e-mail me about the Dr. Phil on TV.  I don't have 
his secret phone number, I am not in touch with the producers of his show.  And
I really don't want to read your heartwrenching tales of why you need Dr. Phil 
to help you or your family.  I'm a physicist, not a physician or psychiatrist or 
psychologist.  And for those of you writing to tap into Dr. Phil's vast TV
fortunes, there's no point in asking this Dr. Phil for money.  I drive 154 miles
a day to a part-time job with gas over $3 a gallon -- I have no money to give. 

for the record

I have been Dr. Phil since June 1989 by virtue of being annoited
"Dr. Phil" by Dr. Bob -- a legendary professor of physics at Michigan
Technology University, where I received both a Master's in Physics and a Ph.D.
in Applied Physics. For several summers while in graduate school I was involved
in teaching special summer programs in MTU's Summer Youth Program (open to
junior high and high school students from anywhere) and Summer Institute (part
of a statewide two-week program for Michigan gifted & talented high school
students). Dr. Bob, who had taught the graduate quantum mechanics courses and
served on my Ph.D. committee, and I worked together on the Summer Institutes.
In June 1989, while I was introducing Dr. Bob to the students, he decided then
and there that since I had just received my Ph.D., that if he was going to be
"Dr. Bob", then I had to be "Dr. Phil".

The name has stuck.

digging deeper

Not that I am particularly paranoid or overly sensitive about this, but just in 
case there's someone who thinks that I am trying to capitalize on this "Other" 
Dr. Phil, believe me -- I'm not. But it did get me thinking about whether or not 
I could "prove" my claim on "the title" (grin).

I am currently teaching my 48th semester of Physics in West Michigan, have served 
as the President of the Michigan Section of the American Association of Physics 
Teachers -- and I've been Dr. Phil for all that time. During this time we've gone 
through several generations of PC's, Operating Systems, and Word Processors. 
I don't have all the computer files handy from the Summer Institute of 1989 or 
the first full year I taught, but I did find a FORTRAN computer programming course 
I taught to some junior high students in July 1989, and in a series of outline, 
lecture and handout files, I found a clear mention of "Dr. Phil's FORTRAN", which 
I would have written on the blackboard. And "Dr. Phil" appears as a character in 
Physics exam questions from September 1992 (PHY-100 at Kalamazoo Valley Community 
College, GSCI-131 at Western Michigan University).

So, this other guy looks pleasant enough, and I don't wish him ill -- but I bet 
I run rings around him with Physics problems and Computational Physics! I guess 
my students won't confuse us, and that's all that matters. For anyone who found 
this web page in error, hope you were entertained. Oh, and if you're a lawyer who 
wants to try to take "Dr. Phil" away from me, I'll bring up my two little 
nephews-in-law, who have been calling me "Unker Dunker Phil" since they were 
tiny (grin).

Yours truly,

Dr. Phil

Dr. Phil and his friend Sam

Last Update: 02 February 2008 Saturday