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My Doctor May Be A Quack
Posted: 08 June 2012 06:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Jeciron - 07 June 2012 06:51 PM

As I’ve noted, I haven’t had much exposure to Dr. Oz, but what I saw made me wonder if what his popularity stems from is not so much from selling “woo”, but from pushing the idea that people can have control over their illness.  The appearance of control is a huge part of religion, (praying is really just trying to tell God what to do), and illness is inherently a condition which makes people feel they have no control.  Encouraging people to choose ineffective or untested treatment might be less about the “treatment” than the fact that he’s telling people they can have control.

He’s doing people a huge disservice of course, although like a religious leader, he probably can’t see that, (I hope so, for if he understands what he’s doing he is really evil).  I think it’s easy to resent people who have learned more than you have, or are smarter than you are, I know I can.  Physicians are highly trained, highly educated, and for the most part highly competent people.  If you’re a layman, physicians know more about your body than you do, something that intuitively seems sort of wrong,  and physicians inherently are going to seem to be ineffective because we’re all going to age, get ill and die.  Dr Oz seems to be making a very good living by playing on the resentment this can generate. 

Still, I suppose that the message, “You can affect your health.  You should be involved.” is quite a valid message and perhaps it is that part of his message which appeals to a good, scientific physician and so, ends up on waiting room walls.

I think you hit the nail on the head. In fact I think the desire to have control is the driving force behind much if not all of CAM medicine. I think your other point is well taken also about people being somewhat resentful or distrustful of physicians because doctors are perceived as being more knowledgable or more intelligent so they jump at the chance to prove that we don’t know as much as we think we do.

Giving patients control of their health is important but giving them false control or pointing them to things that may be harmful is not the way to do it. In my practice I spend a great deal of time discussing the science behind illness and the rationale for treatment. Its very time consuming and not something every doctor has the time to do. If I were a single wage earner and had to support my family just with my income I might have to give up that practice and run my office more efficiently but I am fortunate in that my wife has a better paying job than me grin  In a perfect world if every doctor could do this we might find that fewer people would turn to CAM medicine or to doctors like Oz, but I am afraid the way medicine is going that may be less likely to happen.

I’m not sure about Oz’s motivation. Its always a dangerous thing to try and get inside someone’s head. I honestly think he has let celebrity cloud his judgement though. At the very least he is careless and negligent in what he does. I think he may actually believe some of his own nonsense. If he does he is a bad doctor. If he doesn’t, he is a complete scam artist. I dont know which is worse, but i see too many signs that he is consciously manipulating his image and his guests to believe that he is blind to the charade.

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Posted: 08 June 2012 09:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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harry canyon - 07 June 2012 04:09 PM
macgyver - 07 June 2012 09:55 AM

I have been mulling over the idea of putting a poster in each exam room with Oz in the center of a red circle with an x through it and a heading above that says “Oz not spoken here” but Im a bit concerned that it might cut off necessary discussions with patients who may see it and be intimidated by it so to date I haven’t put it up.

Maybe instead of a photo of Dr. Oz with the red circle ‘no’ slash, how about photos of woo-woo products he (or others have endorsed) with the red circle ‘no’ slash? That way it might not be perceived as personal.

Take care,

Derek

I actually have an article in the rooms that i wrote discussing natural and homeopathic remedies and it has generated some helpful discussion. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t make the connection between Oz and woo. It seems the “MD” after his name blinds a lot of people to what he is really doing. Many of his viewers are middle age and older women who also seem to think because he has a certain charm and good looks ( and a he’s a doctor) that he couldn’t possibly be telling them anything thats not in their best interests. Its those individuals that I think I need to take a more proactive approach with and unless I attack Oz directly I don’t think they are going to get the message. I just have to figure out the right balance of “This guy s a quack” and “I am willing to discuss this with you” that can be distilled into a poster.

I have thought about creating a poster with the images of four people on it..Oz.. Bernie Madoff, and maybe two other sleazy individuals with the caption above that says. “What do these people have in common” and below the images it says “You can’t believe everything they tell you” With Oz’s picture in color and the others in black and white so it was clear who I was targeting. I need a couple easily recognizable untrustworthy faces for the poster though.. Any suggestions?

[ Edited: 08 June 2012 09:54 AM by macgyver ]
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Posted: 08 June 2012 11:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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macgyver - 08 June 2012 09:48 AM

I have thought about creating a poster with the images of four people on it..Oz.. Bernie Madoff, and maybe two other sleazy individuals with the caption above that says. “What do these people have in common” and below the images it says “You can’t believe everything they tell you” With Oz’s picture in color and the others in black and white so it was clear who I was targeting. I need a couple easily recognizable untrustworthy faces for the poster though.. Any suggestions?

I dunno, I think for someone like that, any publicity is good publicity. I expect 90% of the people who remembered the poster would just remember that there was a picture of Dr. Oz in their doctor’s office.

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Posted: 08 June 2012 07:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Unfortunately Doug is right.  As much as you are trying to make the point of Oz’s loonyness, many of the people would see it, leave the office and when they thought about it again would think something like, “I’m sure Dr. Oz is correct because I have great faith my my own doctor, Dr. Macgyver, and he has a nice photo of Dr. Oz in his waiting room.”

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Posted: 08 June 2012 09:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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macgyver - 08 June 2012 09:48 AM

I need a couple easily recognizable untrustworthy faces for the poster though.. Any suggestions?

Tricky Dick would be a good addition.

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Posted: 08 June 2012 10:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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macgyver - 08 June 2012 09:48 AM
harry canyon - 07 June 2012 04:09 PM
macgyver - 07 June 2012 09:55 AM

I have been mulling over the idea of putting a poster in each exam room with Oz in the center of a red circle with an x through it and a heading above that says “Oz not spoken here” but Im a bit concerned that it might cut off necessary discussions with patients who may see it and be intimidated by it so to date I haven’t put it up.

Maybe instead of a photo of Dr. Oz with the red circle ‘no’ slash, how about photos of woo-woo products he (or others have endorsed) with the red circle ‘no’ slash? That way it might not be perceived as personal.

Take care,

Derek

I actually have an article in the rooms that i wrote discussing natural and homeopathic remedies and it has generated some helpful discussion. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t make the connection between Oz and woo. It seems the “MD” after his name blinds a lot of people to what he is really doing. Many of his viewers are middle age and older women who also seem to think because he has a certain charm and good looks ( and a he’s a doctor) that he couldn’t possibly be telling them anything thats not in their best interests. Its those individuals that I think I need to take a more proactive approach with and unless I attack Oz directly I don’t think they are going to get the message. I just have to figure out the right balance of “This guy s a quack” and “I am willing to discuss this with you” that can be distilled into a poster.

I have thought about creating a poster with the images of four people on it..Oz.. Bernie Madoff, and maybe two other sleazy individuals with the caption above that says. “What do these people have in common” and below the images it says “You can’t believe everything they tell you” With Oz’s picture in color and the others in black and white so it was clear who I was targeting. I need a couple easily recognizable untrustworthy faces for the poster though.. Any suggestions?

There are so many sleazy individuals in the public eye, it’s hard to just name a few.

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Posted: 09 June 2012 06:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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I understand your points. Bringing up an issue always runs the risk of unintended consequences in the form of free publicity. I have a strong feeling though that there are few people in my area who have not at least heard of Oz. Most of them seem to have a generally positive impression from what I can see. What’s worse is that the feedback I have gotten from a few dozen patients indicates that most of them think Oz is well respected and even looked up to by most physicians which is far from the truth. Staying quiet about this only allows Oz to continue to benefit from that public impression.

Thanks for the “Tricky DIck” suggestion ASanta. he will be a good addition to the mug shots

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Posted: 09 June 2012 06:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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macgyver - 09 June 2012 06:11 AM

I understand your points. Bringing up an issue always runs the risk of unintended consequences in the form of free publicity. I have a strong feeling though that there are few people in my area who have not at least heard of Oz. Most of them seem to have a generally positive impression from what I can see. What’s worse is that the feedback I have gotten from a few dozen patients indicates that most of them think Oz is well respected and even looked up to by most physicians which is far from the truth. Staying quiet about this only allows Oz to continue to benefit from that public impression.

Thanks for the “Tricky DIck” suggestion ASanta. he will be a good addition to the mug shots

I think you might have a better chance with a verbal poster like, “Just say no to Dr. Oz.” That way someone reading it wouldn’t be likely to take a photo out of context.

Though I still think for someone like that, any publicity is good publicity.

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Posted: 10 June 2012 07:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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*sigh* Yes, the promotion of woo by “real” doctors is a particularly frustrating problem. We have our Dr. Oz’s too in the veterinary world, and the public doesn’t have any simple way of telling the difference between science-based medicine and pseudoscience when both come from what seem to be (and ought to be) trustworthy sources.

FWIW, I think it’s just completely appropriate to challenge your doctor about the message they are sending with Dr. Oz’s picture. If they don’t know what he’s about, they might benefit from understanding they are tacitly supporting something they may not want to support. And if they are dedicated to woo, you’re better off knowing and finding a new doctor.

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Posted: 10 June 2012 07:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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mckenzievmd - 10 June 2012 07:14 PM

*sigh* Yes, the promotion of woo by “real” doctors is a particularly frustrating problem. We have our Dr. Oz’s too in the veterinary world, and the public doesn’t have any simple way of telling the difference between science-based medicine and pseudoscience when both come from what seem to be (and ought to be) trustworthy sources.

I love my dogs’ vet. My older dog has seizures and was hospitalized about 6 months ago when he went into status epilepticus. i was very happy with the treatment he received at the hospital I was referred to, but in looking at the walls of the follow up clinic, I noticed with alarm that they had among the pictures of their staff a chiropractor, homeopath, naturopath, and other promoters of bullshite.

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Posted: 10 June 2012 07:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Yup, not unusual. We have two chiropractors who come to our clinic regularly to see patients (though oddly enough they don’t talk to me much).

Of course, it’s not impossible to have a good relationship with a doctor even when you disagree about such things. I have a few clients dedicated to adding woo to the therapies I offer but who still trust me despite the gentle but honest feedback I give them on it. As long as they are willing to meet what seems to me an acceptable standard of care and the extra stuff they offer isn’t something I think will do great harm, we agree to disagree and work well together anyway. But there does come a point where philosophies diverge beyond the point of being able to maintain the kind of effective communication and trust needed for a good client/doctor partnership. I’ve never had to “fire” a client solely for their use of CAM, but I’ve had a few fire me for not agreeing with some of their choices.

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Posted: 10 June 2012 09:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Thankfully, my vet has never tried to sell me on woo. I have never seen a hint of woo in her office.

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Posted: 11 June 2012 08:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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mckenzievmd - 10 June 2012 07:28 PM

Yup, not unusual. We have two chiropractors who come to our clinic regularly to see patients (though oddly enough they don’t talk to me much).

Of course, it’s not impossible to have a good relationship with a doctor even when you disagree about such things. I have a few clients dedicated to adding woo to the therapies I offer but who still trust me despite the gentle but honest feedback I give them on it. As long as they are willing to meet what seems to me an acceptable standard of care and the extra stuff they offer isn’t something I think will do great harm, we agree to disagree and work well together anyway. But there does come a point where philosophies diverge beyond the point of being able to maintain the kind of effective communication and trust needed for a good client/doctor partnership. I’ve never had to “fire” a client solely for their use of CAM, but I’ve had a few fire me for not agreeing with some of their choices.

I’ve been “fired” myself a few times because I couldn’t support a patient’s point of view on CAM. I think after a while though you develop a certain reputation in the community such that patients like that steer clear and find physicians who are more sympathetic ( and willing to profit from) to their point of view.

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Posted: 24 August 2012 03:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Dr. Oz lives in the Land of Oz.

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Posted: 24 August 2012 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Now let’s not insult the Australians. wink

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