I have been a fan of Dr. Oz for some time and even quoted him here on the blog. Now comes the British Medical Journal with criticisms. This post is based on an article in the Washington Post.
The study is part of an ongoing debate about medicine on television. There’s clearly a market for doctor talk shows. “The Dr. Oz Show” ranks in the top five talk shows in the United States, bringing in a haul of roughly 2.9 million viewers per day. And the talk show “The Doctors,” also studied in the paper, nets around 2.3 million viewers per show. These days, Oz considers disease in terms of marketability. Cancer, he told the New Yorker, “is our Angelina Jolie. We could sell that show every day.”
It’s not hard to understand what makes Dr. Oz so popular. Called “America’s doctor,” syndicated talk-show host Mehmet Oz speaks in a way anyone can understand. Medicine may be complex. But with Dr. Oz, clad in scrubs and crooning to millions of viewers about “miracles” and “revolutionary” breakthroughs, it’s often not. He somehow makes it fun. And people can’t get enough.
“I haven’t seen a doctor in eight years,” the New Yorker quoted one viewer telling Oz. “I’m scared. You’re the only one I trust.”
But is that trust misplaced? Or has Oz, who often peddles miracle cures for weight loss and other maladies, mortgaged medical veracity for entertainment value?
These questions have hammered Oz for months. In June, he was hauled in front of Congress, where Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) told him he gave people false hope and criticized his segments as a “recipe for disaster.” Then…
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