The detailed and lengthy New Yorker article, “Is the Most Trusted Doctor in America Doing More Harm than Good?” profiles Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon and television personality.
Dr. Oz is a clearly talented, smart, and charismatic man who, with the help of Oprah, is considered by many to be “America’s Doctor.”
In medicine there is a continuum between hard science, that which can be objectively observed and tested, so-called ‘art’, and unsubstantiated beliefs masquerading as science.
A warm touch, good listening, and a smile by a physician feels good and can instill confidence, but does it heal in the same way that an effective antibiotic or surgery does?
There is certainly no harm in being a good person and given the nature of many illnesses, conveying warmth while the body heals itself may be more than enough.
But promoting amulets, strange foods, and other hocus pocus presented by charlatans does a disservice to society. Oz appears to personally promote unproven products and their promoters in his show – conveying an irresponsible and unearned aura of legitimacy. It appears he has embraced celebrity at the expense of credibility and his millions of fans are none the wiser.
When the ShareCare newsletters became more and more about selling products of questionable quality for a high price, I unsubscribed.