I cover technology with an emphasis on social and digital media.
Dr. Mehmet Oz is probably America’s most famous practicing physician and one of the most influential celebrities. He’s also a passionate evangelist for notions that would make most of his peers in the medical establishment squirm with embarrassment, according to a profile by Michael Specter in The New Yorker.
1. Dr. Oz thinks there might be something to this whole communicating-with-the-dead thing. He’s had self-proclaimed spiritual medium Cher Margolis on his show a couple times to perform psychic readings for his audience members and dispense advice. Oz tries to tie in what she does with mainstream medicine, talking about the medical benefits of making peace with one’s deceased loved ones (it lowers stress levels, natch) and showing brain scans that supposedly prove that a psychic enters “a different type of consciousness” during a reading.
2. Dr. Oz wants you to spend more quality time getting to know your bowel movements. It’s safe to say that no widely syndicated daytime television host has ever devoted as much time to the appearance of fecal matter as he has. Oz thinks anyone who doesn’t examine their own stool is missing important cues about their diet and overall health. Want to know what your excrement should look like? Watch his “Poop Primer.”
3. Dr. Oz says having 200 orgasms a year will make you live six years longer. This one falls into the sounds-sillier-than-it is category. The idea that there’s a tie between sexual activity and general health isn’t really controversial, but the nature of the relationship isn’t as cut-and-dried as he makes it sound in his 200-a-year prescription.
4. Dr. Oz puts the “home” in homeopathy. Of all the forms of alternative medicine out there, few have been as widely debunked as homeopathy, which involves diluting substances to almost unmeasurable concentrations and then using them as therapies.
5. Dr. Oz thinks transplant surgery goes better with The Force. “But surely,” you’re saying, “Dr. Oz is just hyping most of this stuff because it makes for good television. When he changes into his scrubs to perform heart surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, he checks all this hoodoo at the OR door, right?”