The country’s best known doctor and New Age guru, Dr. Mehmet Oz, may be in a battle for his professional life as a group of doctors pressure Columbia University Hospital to remove him from his prestigious position because of his endorsement of “quack treatments and cures in the interest of financial gain.”
CNN.com is reporting that 10 physicians sent an email to Dr. Lee Goldman, faculty dean at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, expressing their surprise and dismay that the famous cardiothoracic surgeon and host of the popular Dr. Oz Show is still holding the senior administrative position of vice chair of the Department of Surgery at the facility.
Dr. Henry Miller, a fellow in scientific philosophy and public policy at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, signed onto the letter along with nine other physicians from across the country who accused Oz of what they call, “manifesting an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain.”
They claim Oz has “either outrageous conflicts of interest or flawed judgments about what constitutes appropriate medical treatments, or both.”
Oz responded to the accusations in a statement released Friday: “I bring the public information that will help them on their path to be their best selves. We provide multiple points of view, including mine which is offered without conflict of interest.”
The doctor, who is married to a Reiki master named Lisa Lemore, is a follower of Emmanuel Swedenborg, a trance medium and cult leader who died in 1772.
Oz is said to have always had an interest in alternative medicine, even while earning dual degrees in medicine and business administration at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania.
Occult artists are also featured on his show such as numerologists Glynis McCant who added up people’s ages and birth dates in order to give “readings” to his audience.
This isn’t the first time Oz has been in trouble with the professional community. He was widely criticized by fellow doctors for bringing Reiki into the operating room, and was grilled on Capitol Hill last year for promoting weight loss programs and products that he knew were ineffective.
The doctors who are leading the current charge against Oz don’t want him fired, but would like to see the controversial doctor resign on his own and take up a full-time career as a TV celebrity doctor.
Thus far, Columbia University is standing by Oz, claiming that they take no position on what faculty members say in public because the university’s governing documents guarantee them “individual academic freedom”.
Meanwhile, Oz’s television shows, The Dr. Oz Show, continues to grow in popularity with a viewership of over four million people in 118 countries.