Physicians urge Columbia University to cut ties with Dr. Oz

Dr. Oz has come under intense scrutiny for pitching questionable weight loss schemes and other medical guidance. A group of 10 physicians are urging Columbia University to cut ties with him.


Can you trust Dr. Oz's Weight Loss Advice?

Many believe Oz has done a lot to damage his credibility as a medical doctor over the years. He has received criticism for many things including:

  • Promoting "miracle" weight-loss products that turned out to be entirely discredited
  • Said that his own children wouldn't be vaccinated (which he blamed on his wife's insistence)
  • Suggested that the Ebola virus could become airborne

Oz’s affiliation with Columbia University does not sit well with some doctors, including 10 who have recently com forward from various institutions. These physicians, together, sent a letter to Columbia's dean of medicine Lee Goldman calling Oz's faculty position at "a prestigious medical institution" unacceptable.

Excerpts from the letter include:

"We are surprised and dismayed that Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons would permit Dr. Mehmet Oz to occupy a faculty appointment, let alone a senior administrative position in the Department of Surgery."

"Dr. Oz has repeatedly shown disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine, as well as baseless and relentless opposition to the genetic engineering of food crops.”

"Worst of all, he has manifested an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain.”

“Oz's promotion of worthless products that might have side effects and that delay patients' seeking safe and effective therapies threatens public safety.”

A Columbia spokesman responded: “As I am sure you understand and appreciate, Columbia is committed to the principle of academic freedom and to upholding faculty members’ freedom of expression for statements they make in public discussion.”

Last year, Oz appeared before a U.S. Senate panel that accused him of endorsing products that were medically unsound. At the time, Oz acknowledged that some of the products he advised his viewers to use "don't have the scientific muster to present as fact."

Samadi's Take: Oz's Alternative Medicine Advice

Dr. Oz is a top surgeon, smart, and very gifted. However, if there is any criticism you can apply to some of the ideas he puts forth, I would say there does seem to be very little to no hierarchy of evidence in regards to the alternative medicine methods he talks about.

Alternative medicine has acquired a market, which Dr. Oz may be feeding into a bit more than he should. This does not make his profession as a doctor or surgeon discreditable.

Perhaps, it may be in his best interest to stick to practicing medicine for a while until the media cools down. If he does decide to continue being a public figure, he should make sure the medical advice he gives has creditable evidence to support all claims, in which the public can agree with