How should Oprah handle medical issues?

Oprah Winfrey has been taken to task, rightly, by both bloggers and mainstream media on her advice on health issues.

Most prominently is a recent front page story on Newsweek, titled, Live your best life ever!

Pediatrician Rahul Parikh was ahead of the curve on this topic, blogging a similar stance a few weeks before the Newsweek piece was published. But how should Oprah, who, as Dr. Parikh writes, is an “economy of scale onto herself,” treat health issues?

Given her influence, very carefully.

But given her terse response to the issue, it doesn’t appear she’s going to change her ways, and her stance is to shift the burden responsibility to her audience.

Dr. Parikh offers some advice, saying, “She just needs to get a good set of health advisers who can brief her on the latest medical evidence and provide true balance to her show. She could also ask some tougher questions of her medical ‘experts’ and invite a real discussion by putting credible doctors onstage next to her ‘quackadoos’ instead of sticking them in the audience, displaying statements by them or leaving their insights on the cutting-room floor.”

Will that ever happen? It’s unlikely, as it’s hard to see “the entertainer in Oprah . . . capable of doing this.”

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