Scientists - Dr. Oz Does Not Represent Academic Medicine
Lee Goldman, M.D.
Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine
Dear Dr. Goldman,
We the undersigned scientists share the concerns of our clinical colleagues outlined in the letter you received earlier this week from Dr. Henry Miller of Stanford University. We believe that Dr. Mehmet Oz is a poor representative of Columbia University and that he has far too often been a source of misinformation on matters related to public health and science.
Dr. Oz has endorsed treatments, practices and supplements that are not beneficial and may, indeed, be harmful while raising concerns about environmental exposures and parenting practices that are often safe and harmless. The production team Dr. Oz employees develop materials for national viewership on matters of health and science with a near total failure to involving independent and knowledgeable scientists. Dr. Oz's shows touting 'detoxification', 'miracle cures' and other snake oil make our job of imparting scientific knowledge to the public much more difficult. Moreover, his show has inevitably failed to inform the public that in the United States there is a powerful system of academic researchers funded by public and private investments that are eager and willing to educate the public and speak to the complexities of health and disease in a way that would empower rather than unnecessarily frighten and misinform the public.
As we seek to educate the public about real health issues and increase awareness of the importance of scientific education in our schools, political dialogues and daily lives, Dr. Oz's presence in the national limelight and association with of an institution of your caliber has been a source of frustration for each of us. We implore you to terminate your relationship with Dr. Oz and Columbia's perceived endorsement of a series of ill-informed opinions on public health and science.
BethAnn McLaughlin, Ph.D.
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine