Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Anatomy 101: Dissecting the Dr. Oz Show - Tuesday February 7, 2011

When I first started critiquing the Dr. Oz show last week, I did so because I was genuinely concerned about Dr. Oz's relentless promotion of supplements in what I believed was wanton disregard of the welfare of his audience's, and my patients who watch the show, best interests.

Day after day, Dr. Oz seems to recommend what many reliable scientists would regard as worthless, if not potentially harmful products for a myriad of prescribed uses. So you can imagine my delight when today's' show seemed to be taking a different turn.

At first, I didn't really understand the purpose of his first introducing and then parading morbidly obese women across his stage who seemed to readily embrace their obesity. Nevertheless, that was just the beginning of my concerns. He then introduced another set of obese women who, unlike the first set of women, professed a desire to escape their own obesity. He pitted this new group against the first group of women and the situation became downright nasty. Playing the role of armchair psychoanalysts, the new group of women began to verbally attack the first group, going so far as to call them liars and selfish because they wouldn't agree with their analysis of why the first group enjoyed being obese.

Presumably they had all just met but the new group already felt empowered to insult their fellow obese ladies. In my eyes, the show had descended to the ranks of the worst of trashy sensationalistic talk shows.

But you know what? That's Dr. Oz's  prerogative. It's his show and he can plumb the depths of depravity if he wants. Not what one would expect of a top class surgeon but that's not my call.

However, what really bothered me was the psychiatrist he brought on air to help these women understand their malady. I found Dr. Keith Ablow to be presumptuous and even condescending.  To tell these women that their weight gain was because someone told them they were worthless, and then insist it must be true even when they vehemently denied it, and then to reveal on-air some childhood trauma they confided in him to make his point, is truly disturbing.

While studies have shown a strong correlation between adverse childhood events and unhealthy behavior, it can not always presumed to be the case.  No doctor, psychiatrist included, should jump to conclusions and potentially embarrass someone who may be, according to his own diagnosis, already in great pain. Going so far as to confront these women in the public realm is neither good medicine nor good psychiatry.

I was really confused at this point. I couldn't fathom what the psychiatrist was trying to accomplish. I couldn't understand why Dr. Oz allowed him to act as he did.

Then I saw the answer. Shortly thereafter, at the end of the show, scrolled across the bottom of the screen came the illuminating light of truth that pierced the veil of confusion. There in black and white where the words that explained everything for me:

"Promotional consideration paid by Dr. Keith Ablow."

It was apparently for money. Shame on you Mehmet Oz.  


1 comment:

  1. I agree with you. When I heard Dr. Ablow mention something that was mentioned In cofidence was shocking. I was embarrassed for all the women.