Mehmet Oz, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon and host of The Dr. Oz Show, has faced increased scrutiny in recent months and now he's responding to his naysayers in a statement to Time and on his nationally syndicated show.
The backstory: Last June, Dr. Oz had to testify in front of a Senate subcommittee on weight loss product scams regarding his on-air endorsement of products like raspberry ketones and green coffee extract. A study published in the December issue of BMJ found that only 46% of the recommendations on his show were supported by evidence (versus 63% on The Doctors).
And just last week, a group of 10 doctors called for Columbia University to fire Dr. Oz, who's also the vice-chair of the department of surgery at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, because he shows "disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine" and promotes "quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain." Columbia responded to the group by saying it's "committed to the principle of academic freedom and to upholding faculty members’ freedom of expression for statements they make in public discussion."
Now, Dr. Oz wants to clear the air. In an exclusive statement to our sister publication Time, he said his aim is "not to practice medicine on air" and that he wishes he "could take back enthusiastic words" he used to describe weight loss supplements. He will also devote two-thirds of his show today to addressing his critics.
"It’s vital that I drive the following point home: My exploration of alternative medicine has never been intended to take the place of conventional medicine, but rather as additive. Critics often imply that any exploration of alternative methods means abandoning conventional approaches. It does not. In fact, many institutions like mine use the names 'complementary' or 'integrative' medicine, which is also appropriate."