Yale Professor Who ‘Analyzed’ Trump Is Unlicensed in Home State, Broke Ethics Rule

January 10, 2018 4:42 pm Last Updated: January 10, 2018 4:42 pm

A Yale professor who briefed lawmakers in Washington D.C. about President Donald Trump’s mental fitness is not licensed to practice psychiatry in her home state of Connecticut and violated ethics guidance recently issued by the American Psychiatric Association.

Bandy X. Lee’s physician license in Connecticut, the home state of Yale University, where she works, expired in May 2015, according to official records from the state’s licensing website. A reinstatement application is still pending.

Lee deleted her Twitter account after screenshots surfaced of her expired license.


Lee also violated an ethics guidance issued by the 37,000-member American Psychiatric Association (APA) which advises that “psychiatrists should not give professional opinions about the mental state of someone they have not personally evaluated.”

That guidance reaffirmed APA’s support of “The Goldwater Rule,” which every member psychiatrist has had to abide by since 1973. The rule states that “it is unethical to offer a professional opinion about an individual without conducting an examination.”

The rule was created after Fact magazine surveyed 2,417 psychiatrists in 1964 and asked if Sen. Barry Goldwater, a presidential candidate at the time, was fit to serve as president. A total 1,189 psychiatrists responded that Goldwater was unfit to serve. Goldwater later won a defamation suit against Fact magazine.

Photo dated 1964 shows then-presidential hopeful Barry Goldwater (R) with his running mate William Miller. Goldwater is a former Arizona senator and spiritual ‘father’ of modern US conservatism. (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

“The complexity of today’s media environment demands that we take special care when speaking publicly about mental health issues, particularly when what we say has the potential to damage not only our professional integrity, but the trust we share with our patients, and their confidence in our abilities as physicians,” wrote the president of APA, Dr. Maria Oquendo, in an APA blog post accompanying the guidance.

CNN reported on Jan. 5 that Lee briefed a dozen lawmakers on Capitol Hill in early December about Trump’s fitness to be president. CNN disclosed that Lee’s comments are contrary to APA guidance, but did not specify that Lee was not licensed to practice in her home state.

Lee told CNN that at least one of the lawmakers was Republican.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders called questions about the president’s fitness to serve “disgraceful.”

“If he was unfit, he probably wouldn’t be sitting there, wouldn’t have defeated the most qualified group of candidates the Republican Party has ever seen,” Sanders said, before praising Trump as an “incredibly strong” leader.

Trump dismissed the comments himself in a string of three Twitter messages.

Despite lacking credentials to practice psychiatry and medicine in Connecticut, Lee has a list of achievements listed on her biography page on the Yale website.

According to the bio, Lee has consulted the governments of Ireland and France as well as California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York “on violence prevention programming in prisons and in the community.”

“She has served as consultant to the World Health Organization Violence and Injury Prevention department, UNESCO, and other United Nations bodies, and as speaker to the World Economic Forum,” her bio states.


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