Is Dr. Oz a Quack?

My sister watches Dr. Mehmet Oz (first discovered on Oprah Winfrey) religiously and takes everything he says as canon. I’ve watched a bit of his show, and while I don’t think he’s completely out-to-lunch, I think he has some potential to take people down the wrong path. I’m not entirely sure he’s a quack, but I’m not entirely sure he’s safe, either. What do all y’all think?

Link to a Dr. Oz segment talking about alternative medicine.

I’ve just barely heard of him, but Dr. Phil was similarly inflicted on us by Oprah Winfrey, and he was clearly a quack.

I have a friend who used to work with him back when he was a regular old cardiothoracic surgeon at New York Presbyterian Hospital (a gig he still has) and not a TV star, and back then, he mentioned that Oz was an excellent surgeon. It stuck with me at the time because I thought the name was funny. I have only seen his program once (he was saying sensible things about how posture can cause back pain, and used licorice strings to explain muscle knots), and can’t speak to the quackiness of it, but my guess is that he’s a decent heart surgeon.

Not a quack. Real doctor. May be more open to alternative medicine than a lot of traditional doctors, but that’s not a basis for an accusation of quackery.

While I don’t know about him all that well, I folloewd him on Facebook to get the latest and greatest health news. Every. Damn. Update. was a frightening headline along the lines of: “How diet coke will cause a bleeding brain” or " Broccoli: Cancer’s best friend". Got so sick and tired of the preventative scare mongoring that I let him go. I’m much happier now, holding myself to his perfect health standards is nearly impossible.

I’ve watched him a few times and he didn’t register on quackometer.

My dad was the head of a medical lab and my mum was a registered nurse, so we got a pretty level baseline of medical information growing up.

He had John Edward. on a few months ago to teach people how to unlock their psychic power. He said it “changed my life.” In my mind that makes him an utter & dangerous quack.

I’m not questioning whether he’s a medical doctor or not; he obviously is. I’m just not sure if he’s doing more good than harm with a show that seems to be heavy on the junk science.

Yikes. My quackometer just red-lined.

He’s got a good reputation, the thing is when you try to medicine on TV, you have to combine your knowledge with showmanship to produce decent ratings.

This makes you look less than authoritative than you would would in a private practice.

But to give the man credit, he was great in Arrested Development and Juno.

Yeah, he has an M.D., but he’s so quackerific, his voice doesn’t echo! Check out Science-Based Medicine’s recent articles(linked one has a link to another one). I’ve heard tell that he invited some woomeister to “assist” in his surgeries - Reiki or therapeutic touch or some nonsense. He’s just terrible, and if you mention him to anyone in the skeptical movement, you’ll most likely see a very pained expression.


He lost me when he suggested that people with Restless Legs Syndrome try the “bar of soap under the sheets” trick. Admittedly, with that one, he didn’t come out and SAY that “this will help”… but he did basically say that “some folks thing it does” and “couldn’t hurt”. Which would have been fine, if he’d follow it up with “but there’s absolutely no scientific reason to believe it will do a damn thing”.

No, he’s not.

There is an ocean’s difference between having a grating personality and being a quack. There’s no question that Dr. Phil can be stunningly obnoxious in his delivery, attitude, folksy bullshit, nepotism, pandering, whatever. But the actual content is generally good to excellent. I think his first book,“life Strategies” is downright brilliant - he wrote it before his head swelled up and he got a taste of how much money he could make recycling and pandering and getting his wife to write books (!!).

From a review:


So, hate his presentation, his language, accent, self-important shit, whatever… but he’s no quack.

Dr. Oz started out as a decent, evidence-based medical expert on Oprah, but has degenerated into a shill for woomeisters of all types.

Dr. Phil does not hold a license to practice psychology in any state, which does not make him a quack, but makes him an unreliable “expert.” He’s not a treatment provider, he’s an entertainer. In that respect, he’s as reliable a psychology expert as Rush Limbaugh is as a “news commentator.”

Undoubtedly a quack. He promotes shit that he knows doesn’t work because Oprah pushes all her minions to embrace quack bullshit.

He’s not a complete quack since he’s actually a doctor and on non-quack issues might give solid advice - but that actually makes him more dangerous. To have him giving good advice and being an actual medical expert makes people assume that when he talks about stuff he knows he’s bullshit that it’s legit too. He’s scum, part of the Oprah sphere of retarded fuckery promoting all sorts of psuedoscientific garbage.

I think Oz was great when he did Oprah shows, which were either segments or dedicated shows, but with time between them to plan decent subjects. Now, with his own show, subjects have delved into junk just to be able to come up with material for so many shows. It’s just another sad example of something good gone bad due to overexposure. I think he was stupid and greedy to start a show that would inevitably have to go down that route in order to keep an audience. If he kept it intelligent and “real,” medically-based, he would have to start actual med school lectures.

He’s a legitimately good doctor who got the showbiz bug and is now going the route of woo woo.

You know what they call alternative medicine when it’s proven to actually work? Medicine.

Oz is an MD and by all accounts a competent surgeon, but he constantly promotes quackery and nonsense on his show.

Regarding his show-he’s a quack. As a cardiothoracic surgeon-I reserve judgement. He may be excellent. However, as a trained cardiothoracic surgeon he has not taken care of any medical patients for a minimum of 7 years, he is not required to keep up with medical advances in any non-surgical areas, he does not undergo periodic testing on medical treatments or preventative care and he should not be holding himself out as an expert in preventative care or alternative medicine which are not his fields. Yes surgery is difficult but it’s ridiculous to assume that surgeons know all of what medical doctors do and also perform surgery. I can’t tell you how many times a surgeon has consulted me for the most basic medical conditions like anemia or thyroid disease.

Overall, Oprah has a horrendous track record with her medical “experts”. She apparently does not vet them at all.
For example:

Dr. Jan Adams-who operated on Kanye West’s mother alledgedly without appropriately clearing her for surgery. He’s had several malpractice claims as well as DUI’s and nothing to indicate that he is an “expert” . He’s not even board certified in plastic surgery.

“Dr. Phil” - who was working as a jury consultant after giving up his practice of psychology after being accused of an improper relationship with a 19 year old patient. Rather than undergo supervision, he elected to give up practice entirely and start a new career. He had to undergo ethics classes, and formally surrendered his license in 2006.

While these people may have some good advice, they are not qualified as experts, and given the amount of junk science on Oprah I wouldn’t trust anything one of her 'experts" says.

Where do you get that? As recently as October of last year he was still performing surgery one day a week.