But now, a medical student dares to take him on.JB: Was there a particular patient who inspired this crusade against TV quackery?
BM: The patient who inspired the policy I wrote was an older woman in her 60s who had a lot of the classic, chronic health problems we deal with in America. She was overweight, she had diabetes, heart disease. And so the physician I was working with was recommending these oral diabetes medications that are pretty standard fair. She had watched the Dr. Oz Show featuring green coffee-bean supplements—and how it was great to lose weight—and she was convinced this was going to be a huge impact on her weight.
We tried to politely express concerns that this probably wasn't going to be effective because there's no evidence for it. She refused the diabetes medications. The hope she had placed in the green coffee-bean extract was part of that.
JB: What do you think is the impact of Dr. Oz's sometimes dubious health advice?
BM: I think these things impede the doctor-patient relationship. These doctors are actually doing a great job. But the trust people are placing with Dr. Oz—when their family physicians even nicely try to contradict him—disrupts their relationship.
JB: As a physician, what are you thinking when you hear Dr. Oz say he believes in magic?
BM: The movement in medicine has been toward evidence-based medicine because physicians had done things by their gut and belief for hundreds of years. Most physicians would agree it's only through the scientific process and evidence that we were able to make huge differences in medical care. It's insulting to talk about important medical issues and drugs as if it they were a matter of belief. It degrades all that work that has been done.
Me, I'm still wondering why no one is taking on the new age types infiltrating the profession.
Yes, I told patients to spend time in meditating: but for a Catholic that might mean saying the rosary, or christian it might mean thinking about what the bible says when they read it. For a grandmom, knitting works too. When they push "mindfulness", they not only risk panic attacks and psychotic breaks in a small number of people, but they are introducing Buddhist prayer techniques into a non Buddhist population.