The Eight Things Media Should Know About The “Scientifically Dubious” Dr. Oz

Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of ABC’s The Dr. Oz Show, hosted Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to purportedly discuss the results of a recent physical exam and go through “a full review of [Trump’s] systems.” Media organizations should be aware that Oz is infamous for “dubious medical advice” unsupported by evidence, that he has promoted discredited “ex-gay” therapy, and that he is a registered Republican who “donated handsomely” to GOP candidates.

Donald Trump Goes On The Dr. Oz Show To Release Physical Examination Results

ABC News: “Donald Trump Reveals Medical Records During ‘Dr. Oz’ Taping.” On September 14, ABC News reported that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump “shared the results of a physical examination” from his doctor, Harold Bornstein, on ABC’s The Dr. Oz Show. According to a statement from the campaign, Oz also “took Mr. Trump through a full review of systems” “as all physicians do” with new patients:

Donald Trump reportedly shared the results of a physical examination during a television appearance today, despite an earlier assertion by his campaign that no medical information would be divulged.

Earlier this morning, his campaign aides said that he would not be releasing medical records during the taping of an appearance with Dr. Mehmet Oz on “The Dr. Oz Show” today.

After the taping, however, a press release from the show stated that the Republican presidential nominee did in fact share some personal medical information.

“Mr. Trump shared with Dr. Oz the results of his physical examination performed last week by Dr. Harold Bornstein, M.D. of Lenox Hill Hospital, whom has been Mr. Trump’s personal physician for many years,” according to the statement.

Bornstein is the doctor who released an exclamatory note about Trump's health earlier in the campaign. He was not believed to be present at the taping of the show. But Ivanka Trump was on hand “to speak further about the childcare and maternity leave initiative that the Trump campaign announced Tuesday night,” the statement said. “Additionally, as all physicians do when seeing a patient for the first time, Dr. Oz took Mr. Trump through a full review of systems.” [ABC News, 9/14/16

Oz Has A “Scientifically Dubious” Record

Oz Pushes Bogus Medical Advice And Nutritional Supplements

Oz “Perpetuate[s] Dubious Medical Advice.” A Politico article on Trump's appearance on the “scientifically dubious” Dr. Oz Show reported that Oz has come under repeated scrutiny for “charges that he has perpetuated dubious medical advice on his show.” Oz “has promoted a raft of scientifically unproven therapies and downplayed the risk of concussions for kids.” [Politico, 9/9/16]

Oz Admitted To Congress His Weight Loss Pills “Don’t Have ... Scientific Muster.” On June 17, 2014, The Huffington Post reported that Dr. Oz was ”scolded by [Senate Consumer Protection Committee] Chairman Claire McCaskill for claims he made about weight-loss aids on his TV show.” McCaskill charged that Oz gave people “false hope” disguised as “a miracle.” Oz was forced to admit, “I recognize [the weight-loss pill claims] don’t have the scientific muster to present as fact,” yet he stood by his fraudulent advocacy anyway. [The Huffington Post, 6/17/14

Oz Promoted Psychic Abilities. Oz has repeatedly hosted psychics on his TV show, and defended such work to his audience by saying, “Doctors don’t have all the answers.” While hosting famous psychic John Edward, Oz also told his audience Edward “seems authentic, not at all like a charlatan.” [RawStory, 9/13/16]

Oz’s Medical Colleagues Disavow His “Outrageous” Show. An article from The Guardian on Trump’s appearance on Dr. Oz noted that “10 prominent physicians wrote to the Columbia University medical school dean,” where he is a professor, “asking him to fire Oz” for “outrageous conflicts of interest” and “ flawed judgments about what constitutes appropriate medical treatments, or both.” [The Guardian, 9/12/16]

Most Of Oz’s Medical Recommendations Are Unsupported By Evidence. A 2014 study of Oz’s medical recommendations published in the The BMJ (British Medical Journal) found that “believable or somewhat believable evidence supported 33% of the recommendations on The Dr. Oz Show” and “believable or somewhat believable evidence [went] against 11%” of the recommendations on The Dr. Oz Show. [The BMJ12/17/14]

Oz Promoted Anti-LGBT And Scientifically Fraudulent “Ex-Gay Therapy”

Oz Gave Airtime To Debunked, Abusive “Ex-Gay Therapy” Theory. The Huffington Post reported on November 29, 2012, that an episode of Dr. Oz purporting to “debate ... the merits of so-called reparative, or ‘ex-gay,’ therapy” received universal condemnation from LGBT rights groups. The president of the Gay And Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) slammed Oz for spreading “outdated, ultimately harmful” falsehoods on his “lengthy platform for junk science.” The president of Parents and Friends of Lesbians And Gays (PFLAG) condemned Oz for having “misled” his audience ”to believe that there are actual experts on both sides of this issue.” [The Huffington Post, 11/29/12]

Oz Defended His “Reparative Therapy” Show With False Equivalencies. After receiving intense criticism from LGBT rights groups and medical colleagues, Oz penned a blog post “agree[ing] with the established medical consensus” which opposes reparative therapy, yet also defending his exposure of its discredited ideas by claiming “we needed to include all parties” in order to “present multiple perspectives,” however debunked. [The Oz Blog, 11/28/12]

Oz Is A Registered Republican

Oz Is “Active In His Local Republican Party” And “Donated Handsomely” To GOP Candidates. A September 12, 2007, Newsmax article about Oz’s flirtation with a run for public office revealed that Oz is a “self-described ‘moderate Republican’ concerned with ‘fiscal and leadership issues’.” The article also discussed Oz’s “active” participation in local Republican politics and his “handsome” donations to national Republican lawmakers:

In fact, the only area that Dr. Oz has not yet conquered seems to be the grotty gladiators’ ring of politics—though that area, too, might someday be Oz-ified. A self-described “moderate Republican” concerned with “fiscal and leadership issues,” Dr. Oz has been active in his local Republican Party (in New Jersey) for several years, donated handsomely to GOP candidates like Senators John McCain and Bill Frist and, when asked, readily acknowledged that the idea of elected office has crossed his mind. “I get asked all the time about it,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed leading people.” [Newsmax, 9/12/07]