Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves

Last year The Curmudgeon wrote about Mehmet Oz, the television doctor whose thirst for fame seems to win many battles over science and reasoned medical judgment. The proof offered included a New Yorker article and smack-down by a U.S. senator for his inclination to endorse products there’s no reason to believe will do the things Oz claims they will do.

dr ozNow we have more evidence of Oz’s duplicity: not from a magazine journalist or a U.S. senator but from a scientific publication.

The British Medical Journal has published an article stating that researchers went through forty episodes of Dr. Oz’s show and identified 479 of his medical recommendations. The researchers evaluated those recommendations one by one and found less than half – forty-six percent – to be credible. They also found evidence disproving fifteen percent of Oz’s claims and concluded that there was no evidence either to support or contradict the remaining thirty-nine percent of Oz’s recommendations.

It’s hard not to conclude that Dr. Oz is a bad guy who says things simply for the sake of saying them and that his advice is no better than that of your neighbor, your mailman, your plumber, or your mother in-law.

Or a snake-oil salesman.

It calls to mind the old Cher song “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves” and this verse:

cherI was born in the wagon of a travellin’ show
My mama used to dance for the money they’d throw
Papa would do whatever he could
Preach a little gospel, sell a couple bottles of Doctor Good

Looks like Dr. Oz is Papa, selling his bottles of Doctor Good.

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  • Peaches Shimmerdeep  On January 25, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    This infuriates me. Last year, a friend was selling an anti-oxidant supplement with “all natural ingredients” that purported to alleviate inflammation in the body and have numerous other benefits, with no downside. She directed me to Dr. Oz’s endorsement, which was so positive that I bought it, hoping for some miracle help for my bad right knee. About two months later, I went for my check-up. My knee was no better, but my blood pressure was elevated. I showed the supplement to my doctor, who said it contained ingredients that could cause detriment and ordered me off it. He also said that in his experience, Dr Oz and others would often endorse “anything”, if it would make them money and if they could support their claims with even one person’s experience. Suffice it to say, I’m not “in Oz” anymore. Good post.

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