Like his mentor, TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Oz is loved by millions of women. Granted, there are men in the audience…if only a few handfuls.
I too was bitten by the Oz bug, never having caught the Oprah bug. Probably because he’s a NYC cardiologist and he’s undeniably cute. That he’s “hot” in a passive-aggressive way helps.
When Dr. Oz began his show, I’d hang on his every word. I’d write down his health tips and bombard my husband with them as soon as he came through the front door. Not the jealous type, my husband merely chuckled at my exuberance over the man whose company I kept every day at 3 p.m.
As my initial adulation began wearing off, or maybe because I wasn’t one of the lucky ladies sitting in front of him, Dr. Oz reverted back to being mortal again. At least to me… sitting alone in front of the TV without other giddy women egging me on.
Eventually I stopped watching Dr. Oz. In part, his shows were becoming repetitious. His favorite topic was weight loss, and probably still is. I guess I’d done enough research on my own to know what I had to do to keep my weight in check. Not that it made me an expert. It’s just that I’d…been there, done that.
Another reason I parted company with the Dr. Oz show was his obvious appeal to the women in the audience. They seemed to swoon when asked to join him on stage as volunteers for his experiments. I love hugging, don’t get me wrong. After all…I am hugmamma. It’s just that I got a little uncomfortable with the bountiful hugs being exchanged between the doctor and his female fans. They came to expect his hugs and he seemed only too glad to oblige. Granted, I’m sure he’s a genuinely caring person with a natural penchant for physical closeness. It might even be a cultural thing, like it is for me as a native of Hawaii where the Aloha Spirit abounds.
For me, it just got to be a little too much.
Finally, there was one piece of advice he would voice time and again. I’d chuckle about it at first, especially while telling my husband that Dr. Oz said we should have sex several times a week. According to him, it was important to the male’s health. No pressure there.
As time passed, I simply stopped tuning into Dr. Oz. Pretty much like I stopped tuning into the Catholic Church every Sunday, because the priest seemed so far removed from the realities of today’s world.
You can imagine my surprise when I heard that Dr. Oz was called before Congress to answer to charges that he’s abusing his power over consumers. They feel he is energetically supporting products that have no proof in fact of working as he claims on his program. One example cited was the doctor’s claim that the geen coffee bean would increase weight loss. Evidently, there’s not substantive research to back up those claims. Can you imagine the FDA approving a drug because Dr. Oz says it works brilliantly, without scientific data to back him up?
Dr. Oz tried to do on his show what Oprah successfully did on hers…brought the audience along on her beautifully woven message of words. She inspired change, giving hope to millions who wanted to live their best life.
There’s a fine line between the psychological and the physical. And when health information is being doled out like a mixed bag of magic pills, then I agree with those who say…buyer beware! Fortunately, Dr. Oz is now aware of his power over consumers and wants to help protect them against businesses only too happy to take their money.
As for me, if Dr. Oz could attend to me as a heart patient I’d be totally happy. I’m positive his bedside manner includes hugging. And in a crisis, who doesn’t want to have a compassionate soul holding you? However that doesn’t mean…
…i’ll be watching him on tv…anytime soon…
Following is an excerpt from an article in the February 4, 2014 issue of THE NEW YORKER, written by Michael Specter…Is Dr. Oz Doing More Harm Than Good?
Oz has become used to crowds, to adulation, and to fame. That morning, when he arrived in darkness, hundreds of people, mostly women, already stood in line at the entrance to the hospital; many lacked insurance, a doctor, or medical support of any kind. There were screams of delight when he hopped out of the car. People had come for the free exam and for helpful advice, but also to see him. Oz is fifty-two and jauntily fit, with a perfectly tamed helmet of brown hair and lengthy sideburns. His scrubs, powder blue and cinched at the waist, fit so well they looked as if they had been run up for him onSavile Row. In promotional pictures, Oz, with a stethoscope draped like a scarf around his neck, looks eerily like Doug Ross, the character that George Clooney made famous on “E.R.” He worked the line like a gifted politician, hugging people as they flipped open their phones and tried to get a picture with him. Many had brought old copies of magazines to be signed: Time, Good Housekeeping, Prevention—all with Oz on the cover. “I worship you, Dr. Oz,” one woman told him. Another threw her arms around his neck. “I haven’t seen a doctor in eight years,” she said. “I’m scared. You are the only one I trust.”
Oz squeezed her shoulder and stared into her eyes. “I’ll see you inside,” he said. “We are going to get through this, and we will do it together.”
Thank you for this piece. I never really followed Dr. Oz. When Oprah was on i pitched several show ideas on her on-line requests. One was on Menopause. Dr Oz did it and I was not impressed. I thought my best friend an OB/GYN and I could have done a better job. We will see what happens.
Thank you very much for the comment. Happy to know I’m not the only one not under the spell of the…Great Oz. And I agree, I think I’d prefer to hear what you and your colleague would have to say on the subject of menopause, since it’s been my daily companion for decades.
Ahh.. the saying power corrupts came to mind. Too bad.
Not sure anyone could withstand the headiness that comes with celebrity. I’d thought a cardiologist might be immune. But after all, Dr. Oz is only human. His weaknesses are right out there…alongside his strengths.
I also felt he crossed the line into “pitch man” instead of just offering good advice. His message got lost in poor delivery. Great post
You’re absolutely correct in describing him as a “pitch man.” His disclaimer at the end of his show is expected to cover his butt. Unfortunately it’s like putting a band aid on a gaping hole. hugs for weighing in…
I just reread my comment. I don’t mean to be so rough on Dr. Oz. I’m sure he’s giving lots of folks hope, who might not otherwise feel like they have an advocate. Perhaps now he’ll pull back a little and find his bearing once again.
I agree with you- I think he has done alot of good in making people aware of their health, foods to eat, but he just kind of crossed that line. I think he will pull back a little now too.
We both like the man…not the pitch man. hugs…