Dr. Oz and The Doctors Under Fire

Television and the internet are some of the most powerful tools on the planet.  We receive almost all of our local and world news from these outlets, along with most of our health information.  According to Nielsen’s report, the average American will spend around five hours per day watching television.  The problem with utilizing these outlets for information is the credibility and quality of how accurate these sources can be.

For instance, The Dr. Oz Show and The Doctors are very popular talk shows which “have consistently ranked in the top five talk shows in America.”  These shows receive around 2.9 million viewers per day, and are considered by their viewers as credible and trustworthy.  The facts are, however, that the doctors on these shows who give potential health information are mostly wrong.  Research has shown consistent inconsistencies from the information given from these supposed health experts.

 

The research team was led by Christina Korownyk of the University of Alberta’s Department of Family Medicine, and was thereafter published in The BMJ. The team took 40 episodes in tapped in 2013 from both The Dr. Oz Show and The Doctors and evaluated their topics for accuracy.  It turns out that only 46% of information from The Dr. Oz Show was supported by evidence, while 15 % of the information was contradicted, and 39% of the evidence was not even found. The Doctors information was a little bit higher, seeing that 63% was backed by evidence, with only 14% contradicted and 24% not found.

 

So what are these findings really telling us?  Why should the American people be skeptical about information received on medical talk shows?  Doctors should be well educated in their relative fields, so will this create a schism between doctor and patient trust?  The truth is that no one should take anyone’s word on a subject right off the bat, but that should not be so with doctors.  And to make matters worse, Mehmet Oz, or Dr. Oz., had to testify before a Senate subcommittee on consumer protection, product safety and insurance hearing.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) accused Dr. Oz of giving his viewers false hopes in his lose-weight-quick schemes, which cheapens his show.

“I don’t get why you need to say this stuff because you know it’s not true,” said McCaskill.  “No one is telling you not to use passion, but passion in connection with the words ‘miracle,’ ‘weight loss’ and ‘pill’ is a recipe for disaster in this environment in terms of the people looking for an easy fix and getting sometimes delusional.”

 

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