Friday, December 19, 2014

Should you always trust an Ivy-Leage doctor? Will they sometimes lie to you for financial gain?

There's more than one way for doctors to make profits by concealing facts from patients.   Not all the products they promote are sold through the media, as seen in the story of Dr. William Taylor at UCSD.

Real-world doctors fact-check Dr. Oz, and the results aren't pretty
Only one-third of claims made on 'The Dr. Oz Show' can be backed by medical evidence, study says
11% of the recommendations made by Dr. Oz or his guests contradict medical facts, researchers say
Viewers of 'The Dr. Oz Show' should be skeptical about advice given on the program, experts conclude
What do real-world doctors have to say about the advice dispensed on “The Dr. Oz Show”? Less than one-third of it can be backed up by even modest medical evidence.
If that sounds alarming, consider this: Nearly 4 in 10 of the assertions made on the hit show appear to be made on the basis of no evidence at all.
The researchers who took it upon themselves to fact-check Dr. Oz and his on-air guests were able to find legitimate studies related to another 11% of the recommendations made on the show. However, in these cases, the recommendations ran counter to the medical literature.

“Consumers should be skeptical about any recommendations provided on television medical talk shows,” the researchers wrote in a study published this week in BMJ. “Viewers need to realize that the recommendations may not be supported by higher evidence or presented with enough balanced information to adequately inform decision making.”

Critics of Dr. Mehmet Oz, an accomplished cardiac surgeon with degrees from two Ivy League universities, complain that his show is little more than an hour-long infomercial for weight-loss fads like green coffee bean extract. (The Federal Trade Commission has sued the company that hawks this dubious product.) A spokesman for the Center for Inquiry accused him of selling “snake oil.” In June, a Senate subcommittee took him to task for telling his viewers (who number 2.9 million on any given day) things like: “I’ve got the No. 1 miracle in a bottle to burn your fat. It’s raspberry ketones.”

“I don’t get why you need to say this stuff because you know it’s not true," Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said during the hearing...