Fighting the Dr. Oz World

Fighting the Dr. Oz World

As 2016 rolls out, many resolutions spring to life and others already lay broken underfoot. Everyone wants to be healthy, fit and lean but that goal is difficult for most. And as we grow attuned to easy fixes in our culture, we search for quick health and fitness cures as well. We want magic pills to help us sleep and lose weight. We desire supplements that build muscle without the hassle of going to the gym. While most doctors and medical professionals do not support the safety of these products, celebrity doctors like Dr. Oz profit hugely from them. It certainly seems like we are living in an Oz world. Frequently, I am amazed at the “natural” products and supplements my patients buy into. There is no evidence to support their effectiveness, and research is needed to prove their safety. Yet, when a celebrity supports such products, people buy it. And then doctors in the exam room fight tooth and nail to explain why these may not be the best or safest treatment for them. Sure, there are some alternative medications that do work. I am sure that over time we will discover more and find that some of them we are hesitant to support have some use. But, until then we are fighting against the Oz-world of healthcare: fast solutions with no proven benefit at high costs. “As we grow attuned to easy fixes in our culture, we search for quick health and fitness cures as well.”   Companies that produce supplemental products need doctors to support them otherwise they will not see any profits. I delete 3...

The Cult of Dr. Oz Crumbles

We all saw Dr. Oz respond to his “critics”, the 10 doctors who petitioned Columbia Medical School for his resignation. He vowed to not stay silent and found fault with them, for their conflict of interest with GMO companies and criminal activities. Yet, he failed to respond to the more than 1,300 doctors polled on SERMO, the largest social network exclusive of physicians, who similarly called for him to step down and posed questions to him. Over the years, Dr. Oz promoted many scientifically questionable practices. One of these, a weight loss product that he sold for profit, caused him to appear before a Congressional hearing to defend his actions. He no longer sells these products because they have not proven effective. Yet, for all those who purchased these products under the false assumption that they work, they were ripped off with no hope of recovering their lost dollars. They were fooled by someone who was supposed to be a trusted medical expert. After responding to his “critics”, he stated that his show is not a “medical show”. Yet, on his show he dresses as a doctor and fields medical questions. The audience is under the assumption that they are addressing questions to a doctor. So, what would one call his show if not a medical show? “Do we want celebrity doctors who invent their own science? Or do we want those who promote real medicine?”   On his show, Dr. Oz has promoted the belief in communicating with deceased loved ones. He had a psychic medium appear on his show. He believes there are medical benefits to it,...