Dr Oz is Mehmet Cengiz Oz


Mehmet Cengiz Öz, who goes by the name Dr Oz, is running for the Senate





‘Magic’ Weight-Loss Pills and Covid Cures: Dr. Oz Under the Microscope

The celebrity physician, a candidate in Pennsylvania’s Republican primary for Senate, has a long history of dispensing dubious medical advice on his daytime show and on Fox News.

By Trip GabrielDec. 26, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ET

A wealth of evidence now shows that the malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine were not effective at treating Covid-19 and carried potential risks.

But in the early months of the pandemic, Dr. Mehmet Oz, the celebrity physician with a daytime TV show, positioned himself as one of the chief promoters of the drugs on Fox News. In the same be-the-best-you tone that he used to promote miracle weight-loss cures on “The Dr. Oz Show,” he elevated limited studies that he said showed wondrous promise.

His “jaw dropped,” he said, while reviewing one tiny study from France, calling it “a game changer.” In all, Dr. Oz promoted chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in more than 25 appearances on Fox in March and April 2020.

When a Veterans Affairs study showed that Covid-19 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine were more likely to die than untreated patients, that advocacy came to an abrupt halt.

“We are better off waiting for the randomized trials” that Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, had been asking for, Dr. Oz told Fox viewers.

As Dr. Oz jumped last month into the Republican primary for Senate in Pennsylvania, where his celebrity gives him an important advantage in a crucial race, he tied his candidacy to the politics of the pandemic. He appealed to conservatives’ anger at mandates and shutdowns, and at the “people in charge” who, he said, “took away our freedom.”

But the entry into the race of the Cleveland-born heart surgeon, a son of Turkish immigrants who has been the host of “The Dr. Oz Show” since 2009, also brought renewed scrutiny to the blemishes on his record as one of America’s most famous doctors: his long history of dispensing dubious medical advice.

Dr. Oz’s on-air medical advice on both his show and Fox News has taken on greater significance as he enters the political realm. His promotion of hydroxychloroquine grabbed President Donald J. Trump’s attention and contributed to early misinformation about the virus on the right.

“Information can harm — that’s the key thing we need to appreciate here,” said Harald Schmidt, an assistant professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania. “His track record is pretty concerning. What we’ve seen so far does not instill confidence that this will help reasonable politics.”

Over the years, when pressed about offering unproven medical advice, Dr. Oz said his goal was to “empower” Americans to take control of their health. Grilled by senators in 2014 about false claims he made for weight-loss products, he said, “My job on the show, I feel, is to be a cheerleader for the audience.”

In Pennsylvania, as around the country, counties that voted by large margins for Mr. Trump in 2020 have had lower vaccination rates and higher death rates from Covid than counties that voted heavily for President Biden.

Yet at one point early in the pandemic, he said that reopening schools was an “appetizing opportunity” that might cause the deaths of “only” 2 to 3 percent of the population. He later walked back the statement.

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Research Christmas 2014: Media Studies

Televised medical talk shows—what they recommend and the evidence to support their recommendations: a prospective observational study

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g7346 (Published 17 December 2014)


Objective To determine the quality of health recommendations and claims made on popular medical talk shows.

Design Prospective observational study.

Setting Mainstream television media.

Sources Internationally syndicated medical television talk shows that air daily (The Dr Oz Show and The Doctors).

Interventions Investigators randomly selected 40 episodes of each of The Dr Oz Show and The Doctors from early 2013 and identified and evaluated all recommendations made on each program. A group of experienced evidence reviewers independently searched for, and evaluated as a team, evidence to support 80 randomly selected recommendations from each show.

Main outcomes measures Percentage of recommendations that are supported by evidence as determined by a team of experienced evidence reviewers. Secondary outcomes included topics discussed, the number of recommendations made on the shows, and the types and details of recommendations that were made.

Results We could find at least a case study or better evidence to support 54% (95% confidence interval 47% to 62%) of the 160 recommendations (80 from each show). For recommendations in The Dr Oz Show, evidence supported 46%, contradicted 15%, and was not found for 39%. For recommendations in The Doctors, evidence supported 63%, contradicted 14%, and was not found for 24%. Believable or somewhat believable evidence supported 33% of the recommendations on The Dr Oz Show and 53% on The Doctors. On average, The Dr Oz Show had 12 recommendations per episode and The Doctors 11. The most common recommendation category on The Dr Oz Show was dietary advice (39%) and on The Doctors was to consult a healthcare provider (18%). A specific benefit was described for 43% and 41% of the recommendations made on the shows respectively. The magnitude of benefit was described for 17% of the recommendations on The Dr Oz Show and 11% on The Doctors. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest accompanied 0.4% of recommendations.

Conclusions Recommendations made on medical talk shows often lack adequate information on specific benefits or the magnitude of the effects of these benefits. Approximately half of the recommendations have either no evidence or are contradicted by the best available evidence. Potential conflicts of interest are rarely addressed. The public should be skeptical about recommendations made on medical talk shows.

Additional details of methods used and changes made to study protocol


Mass media in the form of television, radio and printed material are frequently used to deliver medical information to the public. Research suggests that mass media can improve public knowledge1 and potentially improve health behaviors.2 Television is one of the most important mass media sources of health information.3 4 However, concerns have been raised about the quality, completeness and accuracy of medical information covered in the news media,5 6 7 8 and television news media is no exception.7 8 The quality of information outside of the news media has not been examined.

According to Nielsen’s report, American citizens spend an average of over five hours a day watching television.9 International health information programs, such as The Dr Oz Show and The Doctors have become a regular part of television broadcasting. In the 2012-13 season, The Dr Oz Show was consistently ranked in the top five talk shows in America with an average of 2.9 million viewers per day, while The Doctors had a high of 2.3 million viewers.10 11 In the 2012 Greatist report, Dr Mehmet Oz and Dr Travis Stork (one of the hosts of The Doctors) were both included in the top 100 health and fitness influencers.12

Popular television talk shows such as The Dr Oz Show often engender skepticism and criticism from medical professionals.13 14 15 However, no research has systematically examined the content of the medical information provided on these talk shows. Our objective was to review the most popular medical talk shows on television, to (1) determine the type of recommendations and claims given and the details provided, and (2) search for and evaluate the evidence behind these recommendations.


Consumers should be skeptical about any recommendations provided on television medical talk shows, as details are limited and only a third to one half of recommendations are based on believable or somewhat believable evidence. An interesting question is whether we should expect medical talk shows to provide more than entertainment. Future studies may be directed at determining what viewers hope to obtain from watching these shows, and if the airing of these shows results in behavior changes related to specific recommendations. If the shows are perceived as providing medical information or advice, viewers need to realize that the recommendations may not be supported by higher evidence or presented with enough balanced information to adequately inform decision making. Decisions around healthcare issues are often challenging and require much more than non-specific recommendations based on little or no evidence from media health professionals. Patients would do well to ask healthcare providers specific questions about the benefits and harms, along with the magnitude of the effect (in absolute numbers), and the costs and inconveniences of any recommendation.

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