Group Of Doctors Wants Dr. Oz Removed From Columbia Faculty

Photo Credit: morguefile.com

Photo Credit: morguefile.com

A group of ten doctors, hailing from several different states, have sent Columbia University Medical Center a letter insisting that Dr. Mehmet Oz should be removed from his position on the faculty.

The doctors believe Oz, who is currently Vice Chair of Department of Surgery at the university’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, has “misled and endangered” the public because of his pathology, making his presence there “unacceptable.”

A U.S. Senate hearing last year supports their worries; Oz had to defend “miracle” weight-loss supplements that he spoke about on his daytime talk show, The Dr. Oz Show, and some Congress members labeled his claims “medically unsound.” He even admitted that some of the weight loss products “don’t have the scientific muster to present as fact.”

The letter, led by Dr. Henry I. Miller from Stanford, was sent to Columbia’s dean of Health Sciences and Medicine, Lee Goldman:

Dear Dr. Goldman:

I am writing to you on behalf of myself and the undersigned colleagues below, all of whom are distinguished physicians.

We are surprised and dismayed that Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons would permit Dr. Mehmet Oz to occupy a faculty appointment, let alone a senior administrative position in the Department of Surgery.

As described here and here, as well as in other publications, Dr. Oz has repeatedly shown disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine, as well as baseless and relentless opposition to the genetic engineering of food crops. Worst of all, he has manifested an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain.

Thus, Dr. Oz is guilty of either outrageous conflicts of interest or flawed judgements about what constitutes appropriate medical treatments, or both. Whatever the nature of his pathology, members of the public are being misled and endangered, which makes Dr. Oz’s presence on the faculty of a prestigious medical institution unacceptable.

Sincerely yours,

Henry I. Miller, M.D.
Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy
& Public Policy
Hoover Institution
Stanford University
Stanford, CA

Scott W. Atlas, M.D.
David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow
Hoover Institution
Stanford University
Stanford, CA

Jack Fisher, M.D.
Professor of Surgery (emeritus)
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA

Shelley Fleet, M.D.
Anesthesiologist
Longwood, FL

Gordon N. Gill, M.D.
Dean (emeritus) of Translational Medicine
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA

Michael H. Mellon, M.D.
Pediatric Allergist
San Diego, CA

Gilbert Ross, M.D.
President (Acting) and Executive Director
American Council on Science and Health
New York, NY

Samuel Schneider, M.D.
Psychiatrist
Princeton, NJ

Glenn Swogger Jr. M.D.
Director of the Will Menninger Center for Applied Behavioral Sciences (retired)
The Menninger Foundation
Topeka, KS

Joel E. Tepper, M.D.
Hector MacLean Distinguished Professor of Cancer Research
Dept of Radiation Oncology
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Chapel Hill, NC

“Columbia is committed to the principle of academic freedom and to upholding all faculty members’ freedom of expression for statements they make in public discussion,” a Columbia spokesperson told BuzzFeed.

Miller, however, said that Columbia has used freedom of expression in order to resist criticism of Oz in the past.

“It shows they have little respect for the integrity and honesty of their faculty, for the well-being of the public, or for evidence-based medicine,” he added. “I think [Oz] should be investigated.”

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