The Blog

Are We in the Emerald City, Dr. Oz?

We look forward to his on-air response, and hope that Dr. Oz will be transparent and honest about his methods, intentions and future behavior.
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"But isn't everything here green?" asked Dorothy.
"No more than in any other city," replied Oz; "but when you wear green spectacles, why of course everything you see looks green to you."
-- from 'The Wizard of Oz' by Frank L. Baum

Dr. Oz has many wondering if he is the doctor he swore to be or if his on-air antics belong in the Emerald City.

The worlds of science, medicine, and entertainment collide this week as Dr. Oz plans to address allegations made by fellow physicians. This group of critics has urged Columbia University to revoke Oz's position as the vice chairman of their surgery department.

The blog I wrote over the weekend recalled Dr. Oz's previous run-ins with media headlines suggesting conflict of interest at play. "Where does the line of medical professional end and TV persona begin?" I asked. The boundary seems blurred to many, including myself.

Mental health advocates have repeatedly called on Dr. Oz to discuss his portrayal of mental health on his show. In this video discussion below, I focus on his series, "Normal or Nuts?" where he deems people's mental health challenges pathological or not. In our work at the Flawless Foundation, we strive to see the perfection in everyone, and believe that Dr. Oz shares our intention of helping others. We are left wondering, though, why such sensational terms (like 'nuts' and 'crazy') are still common on his show, when a healer with his influence can truly help change the discriminatory language so often used when discussing mental health.

Dr. Oz has remained relatively quiet in the midst of swirling headlines but he did make this statement, "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. That doesn't sit well with certain agendas which distort the facts."

We look forward to his on-air response, and hope that Dr. Oz will be transparent and honest about his methods, intentions and future behavior. We believe that authenticity and being open to dialogue could go a long way in restoring faith and trust with his viewers and critics.

If nothing else, the allegations and criticism have shown a desire for truthful and informed discussions of medicine in media, and the consequences of possible misrepresentation.

At Flawless, we aim to create dialogue around stigmatized topics and inspire educated conversations about mental health and have noticed that people really want to talk about this issue. Within just 24 hours of publishing our blog, it had reached close to half a million people on Twitter. We are grateful for the opportunity to have this public conversation due to Dr. Oz's ability to bring the topic of mental health to mainstream media.

We will be tuned in to see how the show unfolds and look forward to continuing this important discussion so everyone, including Dr. Oz, can be their "best selves."