In this podcast interview, Dr. Doug McDonald provides insight into why he stayed at the University of South Dakota for most of his academic career then explains how, and why, he selected clinical psychology as his field of study. He then shares how luck and hard work enabled him to serve as past regional president of the APA’s Division 45 and end up at the University of North Dakota, where he has been for almost 29 years.
Dr. McDonald is currently a Professor in the Department of Psychology at UND and Director of the Indians into Psychology Doctoral Education (INPSYDE) program which falls under the Indian Health Service (IHS) American Indians Into Psychology (INPSYC) program. UND has produced more Native American/First Nations Ph.D. clinical psychologists than any other APA-accredited program. Dr. McDonald provides insightful advice to anyone interested in entering the psychology field then, later in the interview, he shares specific advice for Native Americans interested in a career in psychology.
UND offers a Master of Arts or a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology. The department also offers two doctorate programs including one in Clinical Psychology (which is fully accredited by the APA) and another in General-Experimental Psychology. You can find additional information on each of those UND psychology graduate programs on our North Dakota page. Dr. McDonald has been involved in the INPSYC program for a long time. In fact, he was founder of the national Indians Into Psychology curriculum that was written into the federal Indian Health Care Improvement Act. UND is one of three Universities who are Grantees (2019-2023) of the American Indians Into Psychology (INPSYC) Program…the other two are Oklahoma State University and the University of Montana.
There are only about 150-250 Native psychologists nationwide. Given that there are almost 2.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives eligible for health care from IHS, this group is vastly underrepresented in psychology. Dr. McDonald shares his thoughts on how to increase the number of Native psychologists in the field and in Native American communities. He also discusses many useful resources and scholarships available to American Indians and other First Nations.
I enjoyed talking with Doug because his passion for helping all students interested in furthering their academic careers in psychology is palpable and evident in this interview as is his devotion to his Native American heritage as a member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux tribe in South Dakota. I found him easy to talk to, relatable, and knowledgeable. Moreover, he truly is an advocate for increasing the ethnic minority presence in the field of psychology. When you talk with him about these topics, you are drawn into his cause and can’t help but wonder, “how can I help?”
Connect with Dr. Doug McDonald: LinkedIn | UND Faculty Page | WebsiteConnect with the Show: Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter
Interests and Specializations
Dr. McDonald is interested in clinical psychology, Native American assessment and treatment issues, and further developing and growing the Indians Into Psychology Doctoral Education (INPSYDE) program at the University of North Dakota. He is intent on recruiting and supporting Native, and non-Native, students for undergraduate and graduate study in psychology. Dr. McDonald is a licensed psychologist and uses CBT and Ecotherapy with his clients.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Clinical Psychology (1988); University of South Dakota.
Master of Arts (M.A.), Clinical Psychology (1990); University of South Dakota.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Clinical Psychology (1992); University of South Dakota.
Additional Sources and Links of Interest
Inside INPSYDE, UND’s Indians Into Psychology Doctoral Education program - UND TodayUND Indian Related Programs - Explore academic opportunities for American Indian Students at UND.