The newest media doc on the block is Dr. Mehmet Oz. When he was first seen on Oprah, he seemed engaging and answered some interesting questions in a real and professional way. The audience loved his blue scrubs and boyish clean cut open style.
That was then.
Let’s face it . . . the media spotlight seems to corrupt even the best physicians. Dr. Oz now has his own show and website and production company. That is a pretty big infrastructure to maintain and we know that the public is fickle. So what does he do?
His “Real-Age” website got 27 million people to sign up and take a health quiz. That information was sold to pharmaceutical companies who used the direct emails for marketing. Real-Age also sends the participants a series of emails about conditions they may (or may not) have and drugs they can use to treat it, based on their answers to the on-line health quiz, sponsored by drug companies of course.
He does pieces on “men’s health” and tells men to do male breast checks once a month. No research I have read would support this advice. On his website he says “By the time women reach their 20th birthday, they are at risk for developing osteoporosis”. Really? An upcoming show asks “Can you climax from intercourse?” Gee, is this a health question that needs an answer by an expert?
With his busy production schedule, book tour and daily talk show on Sirius XM radio, can Dr. Oz be spending much time as the director of the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital? Do you think I could get an appointment with him?
His website shows how I can be on the show. Maybe that is how patients get their questions answered. I know I could get tickets for the show and find out if I am “Getting old too fast” (Yes!) or “Do your parents need to lose weight” (No!).
His website deals with topics like “What his erection is telling you” and “Dangerous health secrets men keep”. Could what his erection is telling you be a dangerous health secret?
Enough Dr. Oz. Please stop embarrassing our profession. See a patient with atrial fibrillation and do something important with your skills.
Dr. Oz, why the goofy business shoes with scrubs?
Tony Brayer is an internal medicine physician who blogs at EverythingHealth.
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