Hospitals

Should Dr. Oz resign?

Dr. Oz responded to his “critics” on his show, the 10 doctors who petitioned Columbia Medical School for his resignation. Yet, he failed to respond, however, to many other doctor critics calling for his resignation. In fact, a poll conducted on SERMO (the largest social network exclusive to physicians) revealed that over 1500 doctors polled […]

Dr. Oz responded to his “critics” on his show, the 10 doctors who petitioned Columbia Medical School for his resignation. Yet, he failed to respond, however, to many other doctor critics calling for his resignation. In fact, a poll conducted on SERMO (the largest social network exclusive to physicians) revealed that over 1500 doctors polled felt that he should resign from his position at Columbia University.

Throughout the years, Dr. Oz promoted many scientifically questionable methods. One of these, a weight loss product which he sold for profit, caused him to appear before a Congressional hearing to defend his behavior. He no longer deals in these specific 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, or basically they were scammed.

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 physician. So, what would one call his show if not a medical show?

Dr. Oz has promoted the belief in communicating with deceased loved ones as a health benefit. He had a psychic medium appear on his show. He believes there are medical benefits to it, including lowering stress. Clearly, there are no clinical studies to back up his claims here.

Dr. Oz holds many such beliefs that are contrary to established medicine that he discusses on the show. Viewers have no way of knowing what is real medicine and what is his own cult medicine. They are likely to become victims of this pseudoscience without more expert information.

This false information is actually harmful in many ways:

  • A person with a real medical problem may defer seeing a real medical doctor and getting real medical attention.
  • A person may reject the best treatments based on false statements Dr. Oz has promoted on his show.
  • A person is gullible in spending their hard earned money on products that have no scientific basis. They are likely to become victims of being scammed.
  • Wrong information can lead to wrong decisions.
  • Dr. Oz is creating a show for viewership, not because he actually cares about the health of the viewers. The more sensational the better whether it works or not. In contrast, real doctors care about the outcomes of their patients.
  • Dr. Oz bears no liability in information he gives on his show. He can say whatever he wants with no repercussions. If a person is harmed, there is nothing that can be done.

Doctors spent many years studying and training to learn the science of medicine. We took an oath to do the best for them. We cannot throw all we learned out the window and make up our own “science” for the sake of making ourselves popular.

This is simply unethical. As for celebrity doctors, they should be held to a higher standard because they have a larger audience. When a person places their trust in us as a physician, we need to honor that trust and provide the best medical information we know. If we forget how to do that, then perhaps it is best that Dr. Oz resign. Do we want celebrity doctors who invent their own science? Or do we want those who promote real medicine?

Photo: Getty Images

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