This past June, Dr. Mehmet Oz was called to testify before Congress at the request of Senator Claire McCaskill because of one particularly egregious scam that he, among others, promoted.
Now, the British Medical Journal has weighed in with more substantive charges against the sell-out doctor. A study published on Wednesday shows that his recommendations are far from scientifically sound:
The researchers, led by Christina Korownyk of the University of Alberta, charged medical research either didn’t substantiate — or flat out contradicted — more than half of Oz’s recommendations. “Recommendations made on medical talk shows often lack adequate information on specific benefits or the magnitude of the effects of these benefits,” the article said. “… The public should be skeptical about recommendations made on medical talk shows.”
They selected 40 episodes from last year, identifying 479 separate medical recommendations. After paging through the relevant medical research, they found evidence only supported 46 percent of his recommendations, contradicted 15 percent and wasn’t available for 39 percent.
Remember: This is the same guy who invited a psychic on his show and said of her: “The last time she was here… her readings blew me away.” Hardly a paragon of sound science.
Perhaps what’s most disturbing is that Oz is still listed as a faculty member in the Department of Surgery at Columbia University. You have to wonder whether he spouts the same nonsense to his medical students as he does to his television audience.
It’s also a mark against daily medical-based talk shows. In order to keep the audience interested, you have to keep giving them something new and exciting… even though scientific advances don’t work on the same schedule. It almost forces you to promote stuff that doesn’t deserve to be promoted.
Dr. Oz used to be (and still is, in many respects) a brilliant surgeon. He’s written a lot of papers in peer-reviewed journals. Yet he’s thrown away that credibility in recent years in order to appeal to the lowest common denominator with the same garbage medical advice someone in his position would be expected to denounce.
His show won’t last forever. But, at this rate, neither will his reputation.