God’s Almighty Health Care Workers.


You’ve probably heard of the credentials M.D. and R.N., and maybe N.P. The people using those letters are doctors, registered nurses and nurse practitioners. But what about PSC.D or D.PSc? Those letters refer to someone who practices pastoral medicine — or “Bible-based” health care.

It’s a relatively new title being used by some alternative health practitioners. The Texas-based Pastoral Medical Association gives out “pastoral provider licenses” in all 50 states and 30 countries. Some providers call themselves doctors of pastoral medicine. But these licenses are not medical degrees. That has watchdog organizations concerned that some patients may not understand what this certification really means.

Thankfully, I have not run across this, and hadn’t heard of anyone with a PSC.D or D.PSc. They’d need heaven’s help if I ever do run into someone sporting a god badge. Healthcare is difficult enough without this depth of bullshit.

The good folks at the Pastoral Medical Association were too busy doing God’s work to have a deep discussion with those aggressively atheist elitists at NPR, only providing a statement “explaining it was founded by a group of Christians concerned with the increase in chronic illness. The association says it seeks to protect ‘the Almighty’s Health Care workers.'”

Lo, the association’s website (“optimized for Firefox”) is a wonder to behold. It comes complete with a constitution, which begins:

We of this mighty western Republic have to grapple with the dangers that spring from popular self-government tried on a scale incomparably vaster than ever before in the history of mankind, and from an abounding material prosperity greater also than anything which the world has hitherto seen.


So, how many members does the Pastoral Medical Association have? Screw you, that’s how many. According to the site’s awesome FAQ section, “policy prevents the PMA from releasing exact membership numbers, however we can affirm that the PMA family is many many thousands, growing at an average rate of over 3,000 new members monthly.” At that rate, it’s only a matter of time before we’re all members.

And in case you’re wondering if a PMA license is “recognized,” the answer is a resounding yes. See, “because of the nature of PMA license it has a very solid legal basis in all U.S. states and is also respected in a large number of other countries. The PMA is a well organized private ecclesiastical association operating in according with U.S. Constitutional provisions and overwhelming Supreme Court precedence.”

That’s good enough for us. The next time we feel a cold coming on, or lupus, we’ll eschew science and reach for the PMA directory and our comprehensive wellness quart.

Via Houston Press and NPR.


  1. blf says

    And they have the [shudder] pagan Rod of Asclepius on their emblem.

    Copyrighted at that !

  2. says

    Jim @ 4:

    I love the snarky tone of the article.

    Oh, me too. Absolutely in awe of the perfect storm of sarcasm unleashed by Craig Malisow.

  3. says

    I was going to get my horse P-nut* (a percheron, which makes him eminently qualified) a doctorate in equine massage therapy, which was offered by some woo woo school in California. I thought it’d be fun to have his credentials framed and hanging up in his run-in shed. “No, he didn’t ‘step on you’ he ‘rolfed’ you.” Except $1200 was way too much for such a silly joke and I decided I didn’t even want to bother making a certificate for him in photoshop. Thus, he remains, uncredentialled -- he’s an amateur equine massage therapist.

    I asked him just now if he was feeling christian enough to become a christian pastoral health care provider (seeing as he’s in the pasture a lot) but he said “Neigh.”

    (* Actually, P-nut is emphatically his own horse)

  4. says


    Thus, he remains, uncredentialled – he’s an amateur equine massage therapist.

    *Snort* That made me think of the two paragraphs of this article that I read: http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/body/news/a43513/women-have-started-booking-vagina-massages/

    I had to stop, the eyeroll was truly threatening to become fatal. “No, no, it’s really massage, it’s sooooo special, and it has *nothing at all* to do with orgasms, nothing! Oh, but they do happen sometimes.

  5. says

    I just dug a little bit to see how one gets PMA licensed, but it appears that you have to give up some personal information and have a salesperson, uh, counsellor, call you. Since P-nut hasn’t had a hoof on an iPhone since he stepped on my old iPhone 4 I guess he’s locked out of the medical opportunities. It’s too bad because he’s very pastoral, in fact he’s usually out standing in his field.

  6. says

    Sounds to me like the victorian era all over again. As far as I can tell, there were doctors that specialized in “women’s issues” and “hysteria” and basically treated women by dosing them with laudanum and diddling them with a dildo. The early invention of the vibrator was all about that stuff. I actually had (well, still have…) a small collection of very early vibrators (ebay is wonderful if you’re a weirdo!) including a wooden one that threw me across the room when I plugged it in (someone had wired the on-switch so it put current through the handle) Anyway, I was horrified but unsurprised when I learned of this. It’s such a guy thing to do. If catholic priests didn’t appear to like little boys better, I’d expect it’d be a sacrament to get diddled. (not getting started on mohels.. not…)
    Anyway, it sounds like a trip to the sanitarium was a chance to get really fucked up on opiates and get molested by a creepy pervert pretending to be a doctor (and since medical sanitation was not a thing until 1910… ugh… must. not think …)

  7. says

    Marcus, I advise you stay away from the article. I got to the point of the massage description, and a sentence which mentioned ‘even a finger in the vagina’, and I clicked out. FFS, you’re better off with your own damn fingers. Basically, this is just paying someone to get you off, and calling it massage. When it’s men doing that, there are screams of “prostitution!”, and cops just can’t wait to go undercover to bust a massage parlor.

    I guess if it’s “yoni” massage, it’s different.

  8. lorn says

    well … of course a PSC.D is a better qulidication, it has four letters while RN, NP, and MD only have two. More letters are better … and he/she has God on their side. It doesn’t get any better than that.

  9. yaque says

    There’s a lovely movie called (of course) “Hysteria” about the doctors that invented the vibrator. Their motive was to relieve (their own) hand cramps from overwork. Oh, and IIRC they were called “paroxysms”.

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