by Julia Belluz on April 16, 2015 (voxmedia.com)
(read more at http://www.vox.com/2015/4/16/8412427/dr-oz-health-claims)
Dr. RESHEF’s Comment:
I like the “old” Dr. Oz, trying to inject common sense and scientific sense into medical matters. Unfortunately, the “new” Dr. Oz has become intoxicated by his own fame and uses the media as a platform for promoting a mixture of junk science and good medicine. Adoring viewers often can’t tell the difference. NOT GOOD!
It’s a dark and biting March morning on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Lilly is standing outside ABC’s brick studio building, waiting to be let in to watch a live taping of Dr. Mehmet Oz’s television show.
“I’ve been here since 7 am,” she says.
Though the sun is barely out, her phone is buzzing with text messages from nearly every member of her family — all Oz-lovers excited about her peek behind the curtain.
They’re not alone. Dr. Oz is arguably the most influential health professional in America. The Dr. Oz Show, which started in 2009, has an average audience of more than 4 million people each day in 118 countries. He has his own magazine (The Good Life) and syndicated columns that have run in the most widely read periodicals in North America. He has radio segments, about a dozen books, and the show’s website — a go-to resource on medical questions for millions. He has millions of followers on his Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube accounts, and a starring role on the new medical reality show NY Med. Across all these channels, he preaches the same message: you can take control of your health with simple tricks and natural remedies.
Parts of Dr. Oz’s message have come under fire recently from the federal government and the scientific community for deviating too far from established medical fact. This scrutiny, however, hasn’t cooled the ardor of fans like Lilly.
“He has this practical, common-sense use of things on the planet to stay healthy,” she says. “It’s not about popping pills or using medication.”
After covering Oz for several years, I’m fascinated by him. How did a gifted, award-winning cardiothoracic surgeon with credentials from three Ivy League schools become a TV star who promotes belly-fat busters and anti-aging tricks? I’m also intrigued by the hold he has on his fans. Why do so many people place their trust — and their health — in the hands of a TV personality? What does his popularity say about Americans’ attitudes toward science?
I spoke to dozens of Oz’s colleagues, mentors, and other health professionals who have been touched by the surgeon or his work, some who’ve known the man since his early days fresh out of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard. I read his early books. I talked to his fans — including my own mother. I found out that the roots of Oz’s experimentation with alternative techniques go all the way back to his childhood, and that his departures from evidence-based medicine have gotten more extreme as he’s become more famous. I also learned that the making of Dr. Oz says more about America’s approach to health than it does about its most famous doctor…