Our Physicians

Dr. Handal is the Founder, Chairman, and Medical Director for Dothan Behavioral Medicine Clinic (DBMC) & Harmonex Neuroscience Research (HRX). As a practicing Board Certified Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist, Dr. Handal has dedicated much of his career to developing and implementing technologies that elevate the quality of patient care. His vision was born after many years of tireless work focused on perfecting a clinical model that uses technology while implementing sensible, practical, and modern clinical practices.  DBMC is a large and modern mental health clinic which serves about 160 patients a day, half of whom travel more than an hour away.
Dr. Handal participates in extensive clinical research and has been primary investigator in over 70 clinical trials. He is a national consultant and speaker.  In the late 1980s, Dr. Handal was president of one of the first telemedicine referral services in the world.  This system was featured in Business Week.  CliniCom® is an online psychiatric assessment tool Dr. Handal has been developing for the past 10 years and which has been used by over 25,000 patients.  In May 2009 Dr. Handal was invited to testify before the United States House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs regarding innovative technologies and treatments for veterans; he spoke about CliniCom®.
Awards include the 2009 Heroes in the Fight Award given by Mental Health America and The Excellence in Public Mental Health Award for 2008 given by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). In addition, Dr. Handal has also been recognized as one of America’s Top Psychiatrists for 2008 and 2007 given by the Consumers’ Research Council of America. His private practice, Dothan Behavioral Medicine Clinic, has received the 2008 Best of Dothan Award in the Physicians category by the U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA). Dr. Handal has also received the 2008 Patient’s Choice Award and the 2007 Mental Health Professional of the Year Award for Alabama. In 1996 Dr. Handal was presented with the Clinical Scholar Award conferred by the University of Miami School of Medicine. Dr. Handal is also recognized as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. 
He attended Medical School at the Reprecht Karl University in Heidelberg, Germany, and graduated from Universidad Mayor de San Andres in Laz Bolivia, his hometown. Dr. Handal completed his internship and residency training in General Psychiatry at the State University of New York Health Science Center at Syracuse in Syracuse, New York. Following residency, he completed his Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Florida.  Dr. Handal is a  Distinguished Fellow in good standing of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists. At the present time he is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the Alabama College Of Osteopathic Medicine in Dothan, Alabama.

Dr. McCleod is a Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who has been in practice with the team at Dothan Behavioral Medicine Clinic (DBMC) since 2003.  She is a co-investigator in many of the Harmonex clinical research studies. Dr. McCleod is the current Medical Director of Southeast Alabama Youth Services' Diversion Center and the Boys and Girls Attention Group Homes. She is owner and founder of J.C. McCleod, MD Psychiatric, PLLC.  She serves as a clinical faculty member for the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine supervising medical students.  She also supervises nursing, counseling, and social work students in the field of psychiatry as a clinical preceptor. She has recently retired from Laurel Oaks Behavioral Health Center, an acute and residential in-patient psychiatric care for children and adolescents, where she was the Medical Director from 2009-2020.  She is the former medical director of Bradford Health Clinic, an intensive out-patient center for treatment of adults and adolescents with substance dependence in Dothan, Alabama from 2006-2018.

She is a native of Chicago, Illinois and completed her Bachelor of Science Degree at Howard University in Washington, DC. She received her Medical Degree from the University of Illinois, College of Medicine. She completed her residency in General Psychiatry, and fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry both at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. McCleod is Board Certified in General Psychiatry as well as Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She is licensed to practice medicine in the states of Alabama and Georgia.

Dr. McCleod is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and a member in good standing of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, the American Medical Association and the National Medical Association. She is a life member of the Global Directory of Who's Who in American Professionals. She received the Mental Health Professional of the Year Award given by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), Wiregrass in 2009. She was on the board of directors for NAMI Alabama from 2017-2019.

She served as the 12th and again as the 14th chapter President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Kappa Pi Omega Chapter, and was voted as the chapter's 2010 "Soror of the Year". She actively volunteers in many community service projects. She's a member of Greater Beulah Baptist Church. She is married to Don McCleod, CPA, and they have two children, Don Robert and Michelle.

Dr. Pfeifer is a board-eligible adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist who joined the team of mental health professionals at Dothan Behavioral Medicine Clinic in 2011. He is also a co-investigator in several clinical research studies being carried out at the clinic in conjunction with Harmonex. In addition, he is one of the attending physicians at Laurel Oaks Behavioral Health Center, which provides acute and residential in-patient psychiatric care for children and adolescents. Dr. Pfeifer completed his Bachelor of Science Degree at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan. Shortly after, he received his Master of Science Degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Toledo.


Dr. Pfeifer subsequently obtained his Medical Degree from the University of Cincinnati. He remained in Cincinnati to complete his training in General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at The University Hospital and Cincinnati Children’s Medical Hospital Center, respectively. Dr. Pfeifer is a member in good standing of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists. He has authored several articles in peer-reviewed medical journals regarding the pharmacology and neuroimaging of pediatric mood disorders, including Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy and the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He was also first author of a chapter in the book Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: From Genes to Patients.


Dr. Pfeifer has received several awards, including the Weinshilboum Prize in Psychiatric Pharmacogenomics through the Mayo Clinic, as well as the Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award.

Dr. McDowell is a native of Macon, Georgia where she grew up in a military family. Dr. McDowell was a registered nurse and certified registered nurse anesthetist. She went to medical school at the age of thirty and graduated from CIFAS School of Medicine, Dominican Republic, in 1983. Internship and Psychiatry residency were completed at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She was the first Sleep Medicine Fellow at UAB and was Associate Medical Director of UAB Sleep Wake Disorders Center and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry. 

Dr. McDowell came to Dothan as a member of Dothan Specialty Clinic in 1989. She was the first Medical Director of Flowers Hospital Sleep Center and served in this capacity for 22 years. She has been a medical staff member at Charter Woods Hospital, SAMC, Flowers Hospital, Laurel Oaks Behavioral Health Center, Wesley Manor, Extendicare, and Medical Center Barbour. 
Dr. McDowell is an active member of First United Methodist Church in Dothan where she has served on the Administrative Board and was also a member of the Board of Ordained Ministry. She is a member of the Houston County Republican Woman and a member of the Houston County Republican Executive Committee. She has a daughter, Leigh McDowell Davis, and two grandchildren, Bailey and James Davis. Leisure time is spent on “Princess Alice”, a McCurdy Tennessee Walking horse, and “Ruby”, her Ultraglide Classic Harley Davidson motorcycle, and her sweet toy poodle therapy dog Chloé.  Dr. McDowell is an independent contractor.
  • Facebook Social Icon