Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dr. Mehmet Oz

People are endlessly fascinating. Here's a story describing the making of Dr. Oz, as we know him today.
Oz has achieved some of the greatest scientific accomplishments of his career at Columbia. While a resident there, he was the four-time winner of the prestigious Blakemore research prize, which goes to the most outstanding surgery resident. He now holds 11 patents for inventing methods and devices involved in heart surgeries and transplants. This includes helping to research and develop the left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, which helps keep people alive while they're awaiting a heart transplant. Oz had a hand in turning the hospital's LVAD program into one of the biggest and most active in the world.
I asked Green whether he'd want to be Oz's patient, and he said, "If you did a poll of the staff at Columbia and asked them, 'If you needed a heart operation and Mehmet was there, would you want him?' they'd say yes."
For balance, here's Steve Novella's skeptical take.
A recent example is an episode a few weeks ago in which Dr. Oz uncritically promoted homeopathy. He told his audience that the evidence shows that homeopathy works, even if the mechanism may be mysterious. He stated this as a non-controversial fact, which was very misleading. Every objective review of the clinical evidence demonstrates that homeopathic products do not work for any indication.

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