Oz

My Opinion on the Wizard of (Dr.) Oz

Please allow me to opine on Dr. Oz (or the Ozter, as I like to affectionately call him)  and his show.

oz1

Having worked where Dr. Oz practices at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) in the department of Urology about 10 years ago, I knew Dr. Oz (the cardiologist) before he was Dr. Oz ( the TV personality and health guru). His office was actually not too far from mine and I used to bump into him every now and then .  I thought he was a nice guy. I still do.

The Ozter is the first allopathic physician I know to incorporate alternative modalities like music therapy to his surgical patients.

Think about that for moment; in a highly conventional and conservative institution like CUMC he incorporated music therapy with his surgical heart patients, an alternative modality that seemingly, at minimum, helps with alleviating pain post-surgery (Özer et al. 2013).

So, what do I think of the Dr. Oz show?

First of all, I’ll admit that I don’t watch the Dr. Oz show much – I don’t have time and recording shows like 60 minutes is more valuable to me, frankly. Lately, however, I’ve seen a couple of segments since  he recently had a hearing with congress regarding weight loss claims connected with certain dietary supplements.

All in all, in my opinion, Dr. Oz has done a whole lot more good than bad. Most physician’s, especially integrative physician’s disagree with me.  But I think he does a fine job educating, inspiring and motivating his audience on being pro-active and in finding alternatives and natural methods (often less toxic than conventional approaches) for overcoming numerous health problems. He also has done tons of good in spreading the word on integrative and naturopathic medicine –  healthcare options which time for accessibility has come. Many excellent naturopathic and reseachers like; Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Pina Loguidice, and Dr. Susan Blum have been on the show spreading the good word on effective unconventional strategies to overcoming common ailments.

Man, when is my turn coming? I sure have lot’s of good material to convey. 😉

As as a health care practitioner, I too get frustrated when patients emphatically tell me “Dr. Oz says  I should take..” this, that or the other – as if they are consulting with the Ozter personally.  Arghhh! That’s really annoying. Mostly because, at times, he is giving the wrong information and most importantly, spreading the wrong “miracle cure” message.

Additionally, unscrupulous dietary supplement companies jump on the opportunity to sell poorly manufactured supplements as miracle cures when the Ozter mentions it on his show as is the case with green coffee bean extract.
Is not that coffee bean extract has not shown to increase metabolism and be a nice weight loss aide for some people, but the  “miracle in a bottle” message that he voices on his show can be misguiding and harmful to the public.

To be clear: There’s is no simple miracle cure in a bottle for anything. Period.

To his credit though, he doesn’t get paid a dime to promote any  natural remedy. He can probably make zillions with supplement companies if he did,  but he doesn’t endorse any brand. Paradoxically, Senator Claire McCaskill, who grilled Dr. Oz last week at the congressional hearing accused the natural health guru of peddling quack weight loss products — even though Oz actually runs a very meticulous, science-based operation where dietary supplements are heavily researched before being recommended to the public.

Meanwhile, Senator McCaskill, who chairs the consumer protection subcommittee, receives funding from prescription retailers like Express Scripts, the genetic engineered food (GMO) giant Monsanto and others.

Please understand; I’m not saying Dr. Oz is “innocent of all charges” and that  “bad players” in the dietary supplement industry are not culpable. They are both ” guilty, ” especially the latter.

I just think Oz is a passionate person who believes in what he says on his show and is also under tremendous pressure to keep ratings up.  Granted, network pressure is not an excuse when you are as charismatic as Oz and have the level of influence he does. People, probably millions, make health decisions based on the “Dr. Oz effect.”

Welcome to prime-time Ozter.

Yes, he needs to (and I believe will) stop the miracle cure claims. At minimum, toning down the misleading hype will save my integrative medical colleagues and me precious time from doing serious ‘damage control’ with patient’s and friends.

And dishonest, irresponsible dietary supplement companies who have poor manufacturing practices need to get their act together or get out of the supplement industry altogether. Legitimate  nutraceutical companies are getting a  bad rap by association. Frankly, I think ‘fly by night’ supplement companies are the biggest problem here, not supplement companies as a whole.

If anyone has an opinion on the Ozter –  and I know you do too –  chime in down below at comments section. I would love to hear from you.

Now, for kicks, check out this hilarious 16 minute parody by John Oliver on Oz and the latest congressional hearing.

😉 Enjoy!

Reference:

Özer N1, Karaman Özlü Z, Arslan S, Günes N.Effect of music on postoperative pain and physiologic parameters of patients after open heart surgery. Pain Manag Nurs. 2013 Mar;14(1):20-8.

NOTE: Good, useful content is guaranteed. Perfect, typo-less grammar from this mission-driven , hardworking, sometimes tired doctor and father of 3 is not. 🙁

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