On April 16, a group of 10 medical professionals wrote a letter asking Columbia University to reconsider their relationship with Dr. Mehmet Oz who has a faculty position with the medical school. The drama this started, you won't believe. It is like high school all over again. The letter was addressed to Dr. Lee Goldman, the dean of the medical school, cited Dr. Oz's dubious relationship with facts as well as his love for pushing "quack treatments" on his show for his own gain. The LA Times reports that Dr. Oz is planning to respond in the most mature way possible.
Oz’s TV producers say he’ll be devoting a large portion of a forthcoming “Dr. Oz” show, probably Thursday’s, to a counterattack. Of the doctors behind the letter, the producers say, “We plan to show America who these authors are, because discussion of health topics should be free of intimidation.Just so we are all on the same page, Dr. Oz is the problem in this case. Aside from the fact that I'm suspicious of anyone who gets their television start on Oprah, Dr. Oz pushes things that have been proven not to work while using questionable science to back it up. The part where this starts to get messy? Well, it seems that two of the authors of the letter have a pretty shady past themselves. This allows Dr. Oz the opportunity to deflect from the fact that he has been making things up and packaging it as medical advice. One of the authors, Dr. Henry I. Miller, is a fellow at the Hoover Institution which just happens to be a conservative think tank that denies climate change. Miller has also expressed support for GMOs. Sounds like a gem. Dr. Gilbert Ross is the President and Executive Director of the American Council on Science and Health, which, the Times notes, “has taken money, and courted donations, from big corporate interests, including the tobacco and petroleum industries, and from organizations connected to the Koch family.” Dr. Ross also has a history that calls his trustworthiness into question.
Ross himself may be vulnerable to an ad hominem attack: in the 1990s he did time in federal prison and his New York physicians license was revoked for his participation in a Medicare fraud scheme. His license was eventually reinstated, but an ACSH spokesman says he doesn’t see patients anymore.Really? Where in the hell did these guys come from? The open letter was totally unnecessary. It didn't give anyone any new information and it isn't like anyone actually believed that Columbia was going to remove Dr. Oz just because 10 doctors asked. It isn't like the school hasn't watched a single show. And I doubt they missed that time the U.S. Senate called him out for being full of crap. Ross and Miller say that their histories have nothing to do with the fact that Dr. Oz is bogus. They aren't wrong. But in writing this letter, they've set up Dr. Oz with the perfect opportunity to go on national television and put forth an argument that this particular attack on him should be question (and ignored?). This can only end with 3 supposedly intelligent men verbally beating up on each other. And when the smoke clears, Dr. Oz will still be on television touting miracle cures for whatever ails you. What a colossal waste of time!