Who Is Dr. Oz?

dr. oz healthDr. Oz has become a household name and is often referred to as an expert in the medical industry. However, many people also wonder who this man is and where his expertise truly lies.

Mehmet Oz is a cardiothoracic surgeon of Turkish-American descent who was born on June 11, 1960. He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended Harvard University before he went to the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and received his MD, as well as Wharton Business School where he received his MBA degree.

Dr. Oz Today

Today, he holds a number of different notable medical industry positions and is a member of every major professional heart surgeon society in the country. He is well recognized for his numerous publications of articles and books, as well as his television appearances.

Furthermore, Dr. Oz is a Columbia University professor and vice chairman. He is the director of several other organizations, such as the biotechnologies firm, Siga Technologies, which seeks to discover treatments for infectious illnesses such as Dengue fever and smallpox, as well as the New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program. He is the HealthCorps non-profit organization’s founder and chairman.

All told, Dr. Oz has been published more than 400 times, including books, articles, columns, and other written print contributions. Several of his publications have been on the bestsellers lists within the last few years.

TV Personality

Dr. Oz reached the height of his fame as Oprah Winfrey’s health expert on her leading talk show. That said, he now makes appearances on several other American television shows, including his own Dr. Oz. Show.

Among the advice that he gives and the natural cures that he recommends for disease prevention and other health benefits, this doctor is associated primarily with his tips and suggestions – as well as books and articles – about dieting and weight loss. He has been associated – both legitimately and not – with several different types of natural and holistic remedies to help to shed extra weight in a fast but healthy way.

Though he has talked about the benefits of different foods, techniques, and exercises, there was recently a large scandal where many unethical manufacturers of acai berry diet pills claimed that they had his support and backing. This was not at all the case, and the doctor made concerted efforts to clear the air and inform his fans that he has never recommended or endorsed the use of those products.

Dr. Oz Controversies

Dr. Oz has been the subject of substantial controversy and criticism.  Most of it has circled around his habit of featuring pseudoscientific recommendations and non-scientific advice. He supports the use of homeopathy and sees considerable benefit to alternative medicine.  That said, critics indicate that he isn’t effectively labeling his beliefs as separate from what has been scientifically proven and accepted by the medical community.

He has also become a spokesperson and advisor for the RealAge.com website.  That site has been the target of considerable criticism for its pharmaceutical marketing practices.

Senate Hearing

Dr. Oz found himself in the hot seat when a federal Senate committee required him to be the subject of a considerable hearing.  The focus of the hearing was consumer protection.  During the hearing, Senator Clair McCaskill stated that “the scientific community is almost monolithic against you” for having made the types of statements that scammers would be able to cite in their advertisements.

The claims he has made have been extremely bold and are not supported by science.  Therefore, the Senate committee accused him of playing a role in perpetuating the scams, even if it was unintentional.  Senator McCaskill explained that she was “concerned that you are melding medical advice, news, and entertainment in a way that harms consumers.”

Scam Victim

At the same time, many of the criticisms he has experienced have been at no fault of his own.  For example, many dubious weight loss product scammers have used his image and quotes to suggest he endorses them when he has not.  Dr. Oz has never been implicated in any of the weight loss scams.  However, scammers love to use quotes he has made in order to make it seem as though he was speaking about their products.

Both The New Yorker and Popular Science have published in-depth critical articles describing the “non-scientific” advice Dr. Oz tends to provide, particularly on his The Dr. Oz Show.  They questioned whether he may be “doing more harm than good”.

The British Medical Journal published a study examining the effectiveness of medical advice provided by Dr. Oz.  It determined that less than half – 46 percent – of his recommendations were backed by medical science or rationale.  Moreover, 36 percent of his recommendations had no supporting scientific evidence at all.  The remaining 15 percent of his advice was in direct opposition to trusted scientific evidence.

Author: Lori Shearer

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