Yesterday we reported that ACSH friend and long-time trustee Dr. Henry Miller of the Hoover Institute, wrote a very blunt letter to Dr. Lee Goldman, the Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine at Columbia University, calling for the removal of Dr. Mehmet Oz from the faculty at the university.
The beginning of Miller s letter read, "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."
Miller s letter, which was co-signed by nine other doctors and public health officials, including current ACSH trustee Dr. Jack Fisher and medical director Dr. Gil Ross, touched off a firestorm of news coverage. Dr. Ross was widely quoted in newspapers, on radio and on TV. Some of the most influential sources included, The New York Daily News, CBS Radio, the Associated Press, and the Chicago Tribune.
Here are a few headlines that pretty much say it all: The New York Daily News: 'A fake and a charlatan: Doctors call for Dr. Oz to be dismissed from Columbia surgery faculty over alleged quack science' (Dr. Ross was quoted here: We find it a shame that he has fled from the ethical and responsible practice of medicine to exploit his television popularity.) The Washington Post: 'Physicians urge Columbia University to cut its ties with Dr. Oz.' Time Magazine: 'Group of Doctors Tells Columbia University to Fire Dr. Oz' There are many more examples, all of which contain essentially the same message.
Although, for years, Oz has been criticized in countless blogs and opinion pieces, which have appeared on a wide variety of websites, this is the first time that a coordinated effort to expose Oz for who he really is has generated a massive and unified response. It also puts Columbia University in the position where they have to either take action or defend their actions, or lack thereof.
ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom, a long time, vocal critic of Dr. Oz said, "Every once in while the right thing happens. This is one of those times. The line between 'doctor' Oz and 'TV personality' Oz has been blurred for a long time, leading many American s to equate the two, and, in doing so perpetuating the fame equals credibility myth. Dr. Miller s letter has done much to dismantle this myth. It is well past the time that people finally learn the difference between real medicine and entertainment."