Dr. Oz a Professor of Surgery at Columbia University. He also directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at a Hospital in New York. His research includes heart replacement surgery, minimally invasive cardiac surgery, and health care policy. He used to perform around 250 heart operations annually.
Yet somehow through the Oprah pedigree program, this man has managed to evolve beyond his specialization in the scientific community and become the Dr. that knows all and tells all.
The concept of his show, the Dr. Oz Show, is that he provides a balanced outlook on health. Providing information for both the sides: those sides being scientific evidence and the other (aka. things that are not scientifically proven).
Yet what I have witnessed over the last few years is the steady decline of this expert. Someone who must have studied a great deal for his credentials selling out to show biz. To have over 400 publications, he must have at one point grasped the concept of evidence based results. Hopefully he proved a safe and competent member of the scientific community to have passed his exams and gotten into practice.
Yet what I see now, is a man that is all about show biz. He is no longer interested in what is best for people, but rather what they will find interesting. He makes white wash statements about health issues that cannot be applied to the population as a whole, endorses people on his show that push absolute quakery (some that have even been sued for misleading health advice).
Tell me Dr. Oz....
When did you study radiology and decide you knew what levels of radiation were safe for people getting x-rays or mammograms?
When did you study nutrition and wellness and decide you had uncovered all the miracle foods that would cure erectile dysfunction, cancer, diabetes and gout? Because I sure missed those courses in the 5 years I was in school for.
I have watched this man say diabetes is curable. Last I checked with the Canadian Diabetes Association, they had been left out of the loop on that one. It's certainly a condition that can be controlled through good lifestyle changes but there is no absolute cure.
I have watched him encourage people to go visit a specialist to get stung by bees for muscle relaxation.
I have watched not only the parade of 'experts' he has brought on his show with variable credentials but his poor logic linking. For example: the Chinese diet.
According to Dr. Oz, the Chinese don't have the health problems we have over here in North America. He attributes this to their vegetarian ways. So Dr. Oz says, don't eat anything that has a mother or a face. He even condemned the eating of chicken and fish because despite their lean protein and healthy fats, they still contain evil fats which are clearly responsible for the North American health struggle. So we should all eat like the Chinese...because lord knows they never eat fish or chickens. While I certainly agree what increasing your intake of plant based proteins such as beans and tofu can significantly improve your health, the fear like way he condemns chicken and fish use is irresponsible and misleading.
I think Dr. Oz could have some real potential. He has a captive audience and could be spreading the work of evidence based health, but instead he has opted for a flashy, loosely based on science concept that I often fear.
I do my best to combat the over blown fear of disease and magical advice this man often gives, but being one dietitian it's like trying to clean a subway station with a tooth brush. Fortunately, it is starting to come back to bite him in butt. Recently he was even put before the Subcommittee for Consumer Protection to discuss his usage of exaggerated terms in relation to vitamins and herbal supplements.
If you want a great breakdown of the Dr. Oz phenomenon, check out this video by John Oliver from Last Week Tonight. Warning: NOT WORK SAFE.