Dr. Oz comes off almost--almost--charming at first in a New Yorker profile out this week. But of course he does: it's one of the reasons he has a gigantic audience regularly tuning in to "The Dr. Oz Show." Michael Specter, the New Yorker writer, asks why someone like Oz, with Harvard credentials, would promote treatments that are flat-out wrong.
After that, we go deep into The Land of Oz, where the doctor makes some truly bizarre claims. He says he wants to toe the line in the "civil war" between conventional medicine (i.e., medicine that works) and alternative treatments. He's not one of those bossy doctors; he wants "no more barriers between patient and medicine." You know, like back in the good old days, when we relied on superstition and our average life expectancy was about 25.
It gets a little murkier, too, when Oz's wife, Lisa Oz, is introduced. She refuses to have their children vaccinated (!) and Oz, though he disagrees, capitulates.
But it's his show, of course, where pseudo-scientific claims are given the most play. Oz has endorsed some products without much scientific evidence to back them up. He's gone on-air to preach the merits of Reiki, a spiritual healing practice; green coffee beans; and red palm oil--none of which have been proven effective. Oz doesn't let the criticisms irk him.
He's right about one thing: data isn't clean, and medical studies are frequently wrong. Oz knows that; he points out the hundreds of peer-reviewed studies he's authored. But for the world's most visible health professional to brush off the scientific method? The closest-held belief in science? You're damn right that's chilling.
You can, and should, read the whole New Yorker piece here.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.