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Dr. Oz - One of the most dangerous men on TV
Posted: 04 May 2011 08:01 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Well I’ve been gone a while. Too many real life distractions the past 2 years, but after seeing a recent episode of Dr. Oz ( which i had to watch after the promo aired “Why is your doctor so afraid of alternative medicine”) I had to rant.

Being a physician I have heard things from patients over the years about Oz that made me question this mans intelligence and wonder if he was actually an MD. As time went on i caught clips of some of his shows or short interviews on the news ( he seems to be everywhere). What he does is truly disheartening. To see the complete disrespect for science that is displayed by a traditionally trained physician with a national audience is frightening.

The recent episode included a physician who has a blog denouncing a lot of alternative medicine. He also had on a physician who believes in alternative treatments in a false attempt to make his presentation look even handed. It was anything but.  He stacked the deck by positioning a woman in the audience who runs a web site for alternative medicine information and Oz himself is clearly a strong supporter of alternative treatments which made his role as moderator comical. He was down right dismissive of the physician who didnt agree with him and his disrespect for the scientific method was disgraceful coming from a physician.

I havent been here in a while so Im not sure what has or has not been said on the forum with regards to Oz ( i cant bring myself to call him Dr.). A quick search didnt bring up much, but the feeling i get from my patients is that they believe that Oz is representative of physicians at large and that he is a respected member of the medical community. Let me take this opportunity to say he is neither. Whatever his credentials as a cardiothoracic surgeon, in his current role, the greater part of the medical community that i work in is embarrassed by this man.

I guess the purpose of this post is to get some feed back from the member of this forum as to what their impression was of this man.

P.S. - A quick hello to Occam, Asanta, and MacKenzie. Sorry i havent been around much. Hope to contribute to a greater extent again smile

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Posted: 04 May 2011 09:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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macgyver - 04 May 2011 08:01 PM

Well I’ve been gone a while. Too many real life distractions the past 2 years, but after seeing a recent episode of Dr. Oz ( which i had to watch after the promo aired “Why is your doctor so afraid of alternative medicine”) I had to rant.

Being a physician I have heard things from patients over the years about Oz that made me question this mans intelligence and wonder if he was actually an MD. As time went on i caught clips of some of his shows or short interviews on the news ( he seems to be everywhere). What he does is truly disheartening. To see the complete disrespect for science that is displayed by a traditionally trained physician with a national audience is frightening.

The recent episode included a physician who has a blog denouncing a lot of alternative medicine. He also had on a physician who believes in alternative treatments in a false attempt to make his presentation look even handed. It was anything but.  He stacked the deck by positioning a woman in the audience who runs a web site for alternative medicine information and Oz himself is clearly a strong supporter of alternative treatments which made his role as moderator comical. He was down right dismissive of the physician who didnt agree with him and his disrespect for the scientific method was disgraceful coming from a physician.

I havent been here in a while so Im not sure what has or has not been said on the forum with regards to Oz ( i cant bring myself to call him Dr.). A quick search didnt bring up much, but the feeling i get from my patients is that they believe that Oz is representative of physicians at large and that he is a respected member of the medical community. Let me take this opportunity to say he is neither. Whatever his credentials as a cardiothoracic surgeon, in his current role, the greater part of the medical community that i work in is embarrassed by this man.

I guess the purpose of this post is to get some feed back from the member of this forum as to what their impression was of this man.

P.S. - A quick hello to Occam, Asanta, and MacKenzie. Sorry i havent been around much. Hope to contribute to a greater extent again smile

I dont know alot about oz,but from what Ive seen and read of him,he seems like a quack.I am glad that you as a physician are calling him out for his bull****.He’s only famous because he became the resident dreamboat on Oprah.

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Posted: 05 May 2011 02:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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macgyver - 04 May 2011 08:01 PM

I guess the purpose of this post is to get some feed back from the member of this forum as to what their impression was of this man.
P.S. - A quick hello to Occam, Asanta, and MacKenzie. Sorry i havent been around much. Hope to contribute to a greater extent again smile

Welcome back, you have been missed. Oz is truly as bad as he appears to be (to you) at first glance. In fact, I dare say, he is worse. Especially when he preaches from his pretentious mantle of authority—-scrubs… hmmm The audience seems to eat it up. He is actually a cardiac surgeon, and I don’t know how much of the BS he happily pushes, he actually believes. I don’t believe there is any BS he is skeptical of…and his wife is a ‘reiki’ ‘master’. He is also in the anti-vaxx camp. He has told reporters that he allows his wife to make the vaccination decisions. Some of my co-workers (fellow nurses) love his show. When I point out all the harmful and plain bad information he peddles, they tell me “Oh, I just ignore that”, without stopping to think of all the lay public without their medical knowledge and medical BS filter…which in some cases doesn’t always seem to work well.  sick  I guess he is taking Oprah’s place in driving the lay public over the woo-woo precipice…into the void.

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Posted: 05 May 2011 05:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Listen to the latest SGU podcast.  Dr. Novella was invited on Oz’s show after Randi’s Pigasus Award pegged Oz for what he is.  Dr. Novella talks about it and his impression of Oz.  I don’t think he would disagree with you. 

Oz wouldn’t have the power to do as much damage as he does if it weren’t for Oprah.  The real power is Oprah.  So, yes, Oz is dangerous.  Oprah more so.  If she could be reasoned with, and turned to the Light Side grin she could really do some good for the world.

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Posted: 05 May 2011 07:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Rocinante - 05 May 2011 05:18 AM

Listen to the latest SGU podcast.  Dr. Novella was invited on Oz’s show after Randi’s Pigasus Award pegged Oz for what he is.  Dr. Novella talks about it and his impression of Oz.  I don’t think he would disagree with you. 

Oz wouldn’t have the power to do as much damage as he does if it weren’t for Oprah.  The real power is Oprah.  So, yes, Oz is dangerous.  Oprah more so.  If she could be reasoned with, and turned to the Light Side grin she could really do some good for the world.

Thanks for the recommendation. Been meaning to add the SGU to my podcasts for a while. Just did it now. Ill listen to it on my way home later. Im actually thinking of putting a few things in my office to educate patients about this problem.. Had been thinking for a while about putting signs in the exam rooms that say “OZ not spoken here” with the O being red with a hash mark through it and having a picture of Oz inn the center. Funny as it might be though, i was afraid it would shut down conversation when i want to promote it. I may just come up with a pamphlet of some sort so patients at least realize he is not the voice of medicine these days. The times that i have told patients how poorly he is viewed by many physicians I have been surprised at how shocked they have been

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Posted: 05 May 2011 07:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Rocinante - 05 May 2011 05:18 AM

Listen to the latest SGU podcast.  Dr. Novella was invited on Oz’s show after Randi’s Pigasus Award pegged Oz for what he is.  Dr. Novella talks about it and his impression of Oz.  I don’t think he would disagree with you. 

Oz wouldn’t have the power to do as much damage as he does if it weren’t for Oprah.  The real power is Oprah.  So, yes, Oz is dangerous.  Oprah more so.  If she could be reasoned with, and turned to the Light Side grin she could really do some good for the world.

Good point. Oprah is the seed for Oz and Phil. When Oz first aired, I watched in hope that he would really provide useful information. Alas, another stage wasted. I love Oprah’s spirit, but her brains are a bit mushy at times.

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Posted: 05 May 2011 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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traveler - 05 May 2011 07:35 AM
Rocinante - 05 May 2011 05:18 AM

Listen to the latest SGU podcast.  Dr. Novella was invited on Oz’s show after Randi’s Pigasus Award pegged Oz for what he is.  Dr. Novella talks about it and his impression of Oz.  I don’t think he would disagree with you. 

Oz wouldn’t have the power to do as much damage as he does if it weren’t for Oprah.  The real power is Oprah.  So, yes, Oz is dangerous.  Oprah more so.  If she could be reasoned with, and turned to the Light Side grin she could really do some good for the world.

Good point. Oprah is the seed for Oz and Phil. When Oz first aired, I watched in hope that he would really provide useful information. Alas, another stage wasted. I love Oprah’s spirit, but her brains are a bit mushy at times.

Dont forget that Oprah has also given a stage and a voice to the likes of Jenny McCarthy and Suzzane Summers. I would say her brains are more than a little mushy. She has done her fair share of contributing to the scientific and medical illiteracy of this country. Its amazing how one woman can round up such a stellar group of charlatans and get America to love and follow them.

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Posted: 05 May 2011 08:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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macgyver - 05 May 2011 08:24 AM

Its amazing how one woman can round up such a stellar group of charlatans and get America to love and follow them.

I don’t find it that surprising. Oprah didn’t cause people to believe in woo-woo, just like Fox News doesn’t make its viewers believe they should be pro-life or MSNBC doesn’t need to convert its viewers to favour gay marriage. A smart politician or, in Oprah’s case, a talented businesswoman knows what people want and simply sells it to them. Find an unexplored niche and you can become a billionaire just like Zuckerberg or Oprah.

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Posted: 05 May 2011 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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macgyver - 04 May 2011 08:01 PM

Being a physician I have heard things from patients over the years about Oz that made me question this mans intelligence and wonder if he was actually an MD.

Are his rantings really brought up much by your patients?  If so, perhaps it is demographic-related vis-à-vis your particular patients.  My wife is a physician and her biggest problems (and pet peeves) in the woo-woo area are patients who also see chiropractors and the anti-vaccers.  Does Oz promote these things as well?

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There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.

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Posted: 05 May 2011 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I happened on his show by accident, and after listening for about three minutes I realized he was a charlatan and an idiot so I zip past him whenever I channel surf.

And I agree with George.  It’s unfortunate that people are so poorly educated (or as someone may say, genetically impaired smile ) that they can get sucked in by this kind of thing.

Welcome back, Macgyver.

Occam

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Posted: 05 May 2011 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Rocinante - 05 May 2011 10:16 AM
macgyver - 04 May 2011 08:01 PM

Being a physician I have heard things from patients over the years about Oz that made me question this mans intelligence and wonder if he was actually an MD.

Are his rantings really brought up much by your patients?  If so, perhaps it is demographic-related vis-à-vis your particular patients.  My wife is a physician and her biggest problems (and pet peeves) in the woo-woo area are patients who also see chiropractors and the anti-vaccers.  Does Oz promote these things as well?

Its not an every day occurrence but at least once a week and maybe more often I am asked a question about something that a patient saw on Oz’s show. I suspect there are many more times that questions are being asked after watching the show but the patient doesnt specifically identify the source, but just judging by the content or having seen a promo for the show, i know where its coming from.

Chiropractors can be a problem too but in our area I think they are a bit more careful than other places so the damage they do is a bit more limited. Most Chiros around here stick to doing adjustments although a few do cross over into the ‘holistic medicine’ stuff. Those have been far and few between. In the next county over where its a bit more rural and blue collar its a different story. They have a Chiro on every corner and they do a lot of woo.

I just realized that Dr. Novella was the guest on the episode about alternative medicine that i watched. He did a good job but unfortunately he wasnt allowed to speak all that much and when he did Oz was very dismissive ( oddly he accused Novella of that very same thing even though Dr. Novella was very respectful and thoughtfull in his responses).

Hi Occam and thanks for the Welcome smile

[ Edited: 05 May 2011 11:29 AM by macgyver ]
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Posted: 05 May 2011 02:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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What do people here think of Dr. Andrew Weil?  Does he come from the same boat as Oz?

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Posted: 05 May 2011 03:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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brightfut - 05 May 2011 02:43 PM

What do people here think of Dr. Andrew Weil?  Does he come from the same boat as Oz?

Check out Quackwatch ...

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Posted: 05 May 2011 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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brightfut - 05 May 2011 02:43 PM

What do people here think of Dr. Andrew Weil?  Does he come from the same boat as Oz?

Im not an expert on Dr. Weil but i have run across some of his statements from time to time and Im aware of his rants against the pharmaceutical industry. Weil seems to never have met a drug he didnt hate. He often makes claims about drug side effects that are wildly exaggerated. Every drug ( and for that matter nearly everything you put in your mouth and every choice you make in life) has potential side effects but the key word is “potential”.  Dr. Weil would have you believe that even the most remotely unlikely side effect is a near certainty. He then uses that fear to turn you toward the presumably ( but actually not) much safer “natural” alternatives.  He basically spouts a lot of the same nonsense that most alt med purveyors do as far as I can see.

It amazes me that these men ( Oz, Weil and others with an MD after their name) who were trained in the scientific method can fall under the belief that you can walk into the woods and pull up a root or a leaf that would have medicinal value and yet somehow magically have no side effects simply because it came out of the ground instead of coming from the drug store. Its a common mistake that all CAM purveyors make either because they actually believe it or because its an effective tool to use on a gullible public. What they fail to realize is that if a CAM medicine has a biological effect it is by definition a drug whether they call it one or not and like all agents that have biological effects, they also have potential side effects. The only reason that CAM medicines may appear to be safer is because most of them are biologically inert and do nothing at all good or bad.

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Posted: 05 May 2011 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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You raise a point that’s fascinated me for many years, Macgyver.  While few educated in the scientific fields adopt weird views like alternative medicine, creationism, anti-climate change, anti-vaccination, etc., I wonder how many of them are unethical con men who know they are lying, but have found they can make more money that way, and how many of them sinceerely believe they tripe they spout. 

I recall that in my undergraduate years there were a few chem majors who managed to pass the courses because they were able to spout back what the instructors and text books said, but were surprisingly deficient in scientific thinking.  I even had a few of them foisted on me during my work life.  Fortunately, I was able to transfer them to less vulnerable positions like doing literature searches.

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Posted: 05 May 2011 05:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Occam. - 05 May 2011 05:42 PM

I wonder how many of them are unethical con men who know they are lying, but have found they can make more money that way, and how many of them sinceerely believe they tripe they spout.

I often think about it, too. I imagine they do what most of us do when we behave unethically and try to justify to ourselves that it wasn’t really that wrong. It’s probably more difficult to pardon oneself on daily basis, but the amount of money they make surely makes it easier to justify their immoral behaviour. Many of them could also be psychopaths, I suspect.

Also, the reason why so many celebrities engage in philanthropy is probably out of guilt.

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