TV’s Dr. Oz Defends Against Calls for Dismissal
Dr. Mehmet Oz — better known as “Dr. Oz” to his television audience — is coming under increasing attack for promoting what critics say are questionable medical treatments. There’s a movement afoot to boot him from the faculty of Columbia University, where he serves in the medical school.
The group of nationally known doctors, in a lacerating letter to his boss, called for the TV doctor’s dismissal from the prestigious post of vice chairman of Columbia University’s department of surgery.
“He’s a quack and a fake and a charlatan,” said Dr. Henry Miller of Stanford, the first person to sign the poison-pen letter.
“I think I know the motivation at Columbia,” he continued. “They’re star-struck, and like having on their faculty the best-known doctor in the country. But the fact is that his advice endangers patients, and this doesn’t seem to faze them. Whether they’re hoping Oprah will come and endow a center for homeopathic medicine, I don’t know.”
In a phone interview with Vox on Sunday evening, Dr. Oz said that his detractors had ulterior motives — such as financial ties to the food industry. “Did you know who those people were who were sending the petition?” Oz told me. “Did you know that they work for companies and groups linked to the pro-GMO groups?”
Oz seemed to be previewing a defense he is expected to articulate this week on his show — attacking the integrity of his critics. “We plan to show America who these authors are, because discussion of health topics should be free of intimidation,” a spokesman for the show told CNN.
A graduate of Penn’s joint MD/MBA program, Oz has long harbored interests in medicine and beyond.
“I’ve always enjoyed doing two things at the same time, and that’s what I did at Penn,” Oz told Wharton Magazine, referring to his decision to pursue a joint MD/MBA. “I could go in the morning to the clinic and treat diabetes patients, and then in the afternoon go learn about accounting and real estate transactions.”
To get the background on why Oz is being criticized, sit back and take 15 minutes or so to watch John Oliver‘s takedown of Oz from June:
A recent study in the British Medical Journal examined the health claims showcased on 40 randomly selected episodes of the two most popular internationally syndicated health talk shows, The Dr. Oz Show and The Doctors. The researchers found that about half of the recommendations either had no evidence behind them or actually contradicted what the best available science tells us.