Should Dr. Oz be Removed from His Position as Professor of Surgery at Columbia University?

Dr. Oz has come under fire, recently, with a number of doctors trying to have him removed from his position as professor of surgery at Columbia University. From what I can tell, they claim his show promotes scientifically disproven and unproven methods to gain better health. From what I have heard of Dr. Oz’s rebuttal, he says his show is about hope and about explore all the different ideas in health. It is not strictly a medical show. This has me again thinking about health, which is a dangerous thing when you think about it. People discuss health like religion, holding fast to their belief and becoming easily offended when confronted.

dr. oz

I’m not going to sit here and say I know everything about health, but I certainly have opinions about what does and doesn’t work. I don’t believe everything my chiropractor says is correct any more than my doctor. At the end of the day, they both have the potential to be flawed and they both have their own agendas.

So, who’s right and who’s wrong? I’m going to say both. If I experience an abnormality, such as a skin rash or persistent fever, I’m going to go to my doctor. If I am in a car accident, I’m going the emergency room and if I need surgery, there will be plenty of medications involved. No one should be promoting the idea that someone in an emergency should avoid medical attention.

At the same time, it has been my personal experience that seeing a chiropractor helps me live a life free of pain, which had previously been vicious. I have essentially chosen to see him instead of living my life on painkillers. It may not work for everyone, but it works for me. Like Dr. Oz, he sometimes discusses natural ways to reduce, manage or prevent any number of things. It’s not like he’s saying this is the only option. Instead, he suggest a person tries something before seeking out medications or surgeries, which often cost more.

One example is lavender oil. I haven’t tried this yet, but some of his clients whose stress would cause reoccurring neck pain experienced far less pain when they put a few drops of lavender oil on their pillow at night. Is lavender oil the cure to pain? Is that the only way, the best way or the proven way?

Of course not. Lavender tends to have a calming reaction. It’s not doing anything physically to the body. However,a  person who would be unconsciously tense in sleep may unconsciously relax with the scent nearby. I don’t think that’s any crazier than saying white noise promotes better sleep. Some people are more at ease with some sound and it just so happens this is common enough that it may be suggested as a way to help someone experiencing difficulty sleeping.

I’ve only watched a few Dr. Oz shows because I’m usually at work when his show is on. I see him discuss things like juicing or specific food that can help with certain ailments. Sometimes he discusses medical controversies. I see where the doctors who criticize him are coming from. Even though he intends his show to offer suggestions and claims it is not a medical show, many people perceive his words to be fact. He is a doctor, after all. There’s no disclaimer that says the topic of any given show is unproven.

What I do like about Dr. Oz is that it is, or at least has the potential to be, a place where medicine and health can be discussed. I think that is good and I think it is valuable to discuss things that may be unproven and disproven. The key is, it should be a discussion, not a lesson. If he is talking about something unproven, his viewers have a right to know he is discussing scientifically unproven methods. They should especially know if he is discussing anything that has been scientifically disproven.

Does he deserve to be shamed and removed from his position at Columbia? My totally uneducated opinion is that that is an overreaction. However, I do believe he has a responsibility to let his audience know when he is discussing something the scientific community hasn’t yet proven or has disproven. If my chiropractor, who is in a profession historically frowned upon by the medical industry, is honest with me about what the scientific community has to say about the things he suggest (yes, even when the two sides are in conflict), certainly Dr. Oz can. Let the public be fully informed and act as they see fit.

Have you ever watched the Dr. Oz Show? Do you think the show is reason for him to be removed as professor of surgery at Columbia University? If Dr. Oz included some kind of disclaimer on his show, would he have such a large audience?

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7 thoughts on “Should Dr. Oz be Removed from His Position as Professor of Surgery at Columbia University?”

  1. Maybe it’s just more of the network then him but that’s the downside to show business, I stopped watching him after a poor segment he did with Montel that ressembled some of the aspects of your post. But like I said who knows if it’s him or not

    1. I watch his show sometimes but I take his word with a grain of salt. Frankly, I take any health professional’s word with a grain of salt. I’ve work with yoga, Pilates and fitness instructors, doctors, specialists and chiropractors. Every one has thought that they and only they hold the true key to health and the answer to my problems. Even when a doctor told me “I have no idea what’s wrong” they honestly thought that was the best answer in the world to offer. My philosophy on health has two elements. A) The common denominator is probably the likely key to health. What do all the professionals and diets have in common? That is the core of health. 2) What works for me works for me. Some things I do may not effect another the same way, but if it works for me, then it does.

  2. Part of the problem is that the placebo effect is a real thing, and so many “natural” solutions may simply be working because people believe in them. And I’m not saying that it’s bad to take something for which the placebo effect is why you feel better, but it should be made clear that such an effect is not going to work on everybody, in fact likely not even a majority of the people. The simple fact is, that he was dishonest and did not display proper medical ethics. Being ethically sound and academically honest are the most important attributes for a medical doctor and a professor. He has displayed none of those and definitely should not be working for one of the most prestigious universities in the country.

    1. I can understand that. He may need to do something like “Dr.” Phil. As I recall, he was a licensed therapist, but isn’t anymore. He still has his show, but – even with Dr. in the title of his show – he’s not actually a doctor. Hes decided to focus on his show instead. Dr. Oz may have to decide which is more important to him, his show or his career as a medial doctor and professor.

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