Dr. Oz: When You Can’t Trust America’s Doctor Anymore
Photo Credit: David Berkowitz

Dr. Oz: When You Can’t Trust America’s Doctor Anymore

Dr. Oz is adored by millions of people but has greed led “America’s Doctor” astray? This shameless doctor now wants to be a Senator, accused of giving out unscientific advice by the NIH, the US Senate, and more. Are his far-right values really what will “heal America,” as he claims. 

Can he be trusted at all? We need to take a closer look at this man before we cheer him on further. 

Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania

I’ve never met Dr. Oz, who has recently “moved” to the town I grew up in to run for Senate.

His in-law’s house in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, is his alleged new home. He’s still maintaining palatial estates in New Jersey and Florida and appearing in social media at both places, but this ambitious man wants to be more than just a part-time surgeon and full-time TV host. 

He thinks his best chances of becoming a Senator are not in Florida or New Jersey, where he lives, but in the Keystone State. 

Although I left Bryn Athyn long ago, I went to school with his wife, Lisa Lemole Oz, who was three years behind me, and spent time with close relatives of mine. Her father is a well-respected heart surgeon who was a mentor of Oz’s early on. 

I remember her as a beautiful and pleasant person who was good at buttering people up. “Oh, Mrs. Pitcairn, this dinner is just delicious!” Her family and my family were the two prominent families in the town. The country club set is the Asplundhs, who has made a fortune turning round trees into “Y” shaped ones while clearing power lines. My family tends to be oddballs, ranging from aeronautical pioneers to hit and run drunk drivers and suicides.

Bryn Athyn is unusual because nearly everyone who lives there believes in the teachings of Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg. I won’t get into the beliefs other than to say that they’re mystical, but feel free if you are interested. I would have forgotten about Lisa Lemole if her husband, Dr. Oz, hadn’t kept popping up in front of me like Vince Offer in a ShamWow Commercial.

Making an S

I had only vaguely heard about the man Lisa had married until a friend of mine insisted I watch the doctor’s original Oprah appearance. 

He talked about poop, getting folksy about “making an S” when you eliminate, and I was like: OMG, that’s Lisa’s husband! Apparently, a banana-shaped poop was also okay, but the man-made it very clear that making a whole bunch of tiny deer pellets was terrible. There “should not be any plop, plop, plop …” he said. 

Individual nuggets were a sign that your intestinal muscles were too tired or too weak to make one uninterrupted log, needing rest between nuggets, thus creating a series of mini-logs instead of a single, curvaceous letter. 

I noticed the doctor offered no remedy for the affliction, which could undoubtedly lead to unspecified future illnesses (or why he would have mentioned it at all?). His creepy fascination put me off the fecal alphabet, but I have to admit he didn’t start as a corny quack. 

He invented a heart valve clip called the MitroClip early in his career when he enjoyed an excellent reputation as a thoracic surgeon. Then he met the television world. Perhaps that Oprah episode that so enthused my friend was the beginning of the end of the good doctor and the birth of the bad doctor. Maybe that was the day he became a buffoon. (SNL also found his relationship with the large intestine ridicule worthy.) Not everybody was skeeved; however, people LOVED him. He was a star. 

America’s Doctor

After many appearances of Oprah, who has not endorsed him for Senate, Dr. Oz went on to have his own medical show. The Dr. Oz show has run for 13, not-very-doctorly seasons of supplement endorsements, weight-loss fads, medical “miracles,” and true-crime episodes. 

Heavily criticized for things he says but undeterred, he cheerfully plows on. He’s promoted colloidal silverraspberry ketone, and green coffee bean extract. During bouts of verbal diarrhea, he will frequently change his story. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day until it’s not

He’s pro-choice until he’s 100% pro-lifeHe frequently deviates from official COVID advice

In one of his many appearances on “Fox & Friends” in early 2020, Oz encouraged viewers to sign up for a “self-reported” trial of the antimalarial and immunosuppressive drug [hydroxychloroquine ] through his website at a time when other studies involving the drug were being canceled due to potential health complications.

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He’s Not Your Doctor

Regardless of where the America’s Doctor appellation originated, he adopted it enthusiastically. It’s the name of his blog. However, please make no mistake, and this doesn’t mean he seriously means that you should take his medical advice. When a gentleman sued him after burning his feet due to direction involving microwaving uncooked rice in a pair of socks and then wearing them to bed, he found out the hard way that the doctor had No Duty of Care, or in other words, he’s not your doctor. He just plays one on TV.  

Like the Republican he is, Dr. Oz loves freedom, especially free speech. It’s his go-to way of getting out of trouble for things he says. His strategy is to fall back on free speech when criticized for the bizarre medical claims he frames as legit medical advice. 

He’s faced backlash from scientific organizations, including the NIH, the British Medical Journal, and eventually a US Senate hearing where the doctor was strongly rebuked for promoting quack cures. However, the fact his medical colleagues have called for his removal has not dampened his popularity. Millions continue to love him to the point where they still risk rice burns on their feet and worse.

Jeopardy! 

Dr. Oz took to TV like a fish to water until having his own show was not enough. He wanted to host Jeopardy!. 

In his own words“Jeopardy! is about deep wisdom and many layers of insight. You can start in the very beginning, and maybe you don’t even understand the words, but by the time you master it, you really feel like you’re aware of a lot more going on in the world around you. And I think a lot of us ignore that reality. We sort of back away through life. Jeopardy! makes you face it and say, I can do that. I can make this happen for me and for everyone around me.”

It’s like I’m listening to Tom Cruise talking about Scientology. He makes no sense whatsoever. Watch Jeopardy! and you won’t “back away through life?” “My main goal,” he claims on the show, “was to make sure that people knew that knowledge was accessible.” Is the life-changing miracle of trivia tv shows on par with that of school, library, or the internet? 

The high esteem the doctor felt for the show was not returned in any way by Jeopardy! enthusiasts. An epic rebellion ensued, and He exited the studio by the popular demand Jeopardy! ‘s own fans to donate to an amount equal to the player’s winnings to a charity of his choice, which was his own charity, HealthCorp, which supposedly helps young people to understand their bodies or something. 

Dr. Oz: When You Can’t Trust America’s Doctor Anymore
Photo Credit: David Berkowitz

The Senate 2.0

Then came Senate 2.0. and he started popping up again. The best appearance of all is in the Olivia Nuzzi Article in New York Magazine. The article recounts a prize moment when Nuzzi, looking to interview Dr. Oz about his candidacy but was having difficulty reaching him, calls Lisa, who hangs up immediately, or so she thinks. 

The article quotes a paranoid conversation between Oz and Lisa verbatim after she mistakenly thinks she has hung up on Nuzzi. She and the doctor engage in an F-bomb-dropping argument that sounds nothing like their TV personality demeanors and made for a delightful read. 

Oz states that his Senate campaign is about healing America, a metaphor he’s busy beating into an early grave on his campaign site. “Today, America’s heartbeat is in a code red in need of a defibrillator to shock it back to life,” shouts his Dr. Oz website. The following are his stated political stances. He is:

Pro fossil fuel

“Pennsylvania is a leader in the production of natural gas and coal. The Biden Administration has launched an attack on the energy industry stifling domestic energy production and weakening the US position in energy production. These attacks have skyrocketed gas and energy prices and made our current energy options less reliable. Dr. Oz will work to overturn these heavy-handed regulations that are hurting Pennsylvania jobs and our local communities.”

Pro-gun

“Dr. Oz is a proud gun owner and will fight back at any attempts to restrict law-abiding gun owners of their constitutional rights.” He’s applied for a concealed carry permit in PA. 

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Pro-law enforcement

“Dr. Oz is a strong supporter of our law enforcement and will give them a powerful voice in Washington. He believes our law enforcement has a hard enough job on the streets and that they shouldn’t have to fend off calls to “defund” them from radicals and the extreme left. 

He will support efforts to ensure they always have the resources they need to do their job and keep our communities safe, and he opposes “anti-law” proposals like “cashless bail” that make it tougher for police to do their jobs.”

Pro-life

“Dr. Oz is a successful heart surgeon – he has literally held a beating heart in his hands. He knows how precious life is and is 100% Pro-Life.” Although earlier in his career, he claims to have seen the horrific results of coat hanger abortions while in medical school, although they must have been some old scars since Roe v. Wade passed in 1973 when he was ~13 years old.  

Anti-immigration

“Dr. Oz believes that one of the core responsibilities of the federal government is to protect you. In order to do that, we need to have a secure border with a barrier – whether that is a physical wall or one patrolled by technological advances.” (Okay, that scares me. Is he talking about radiation beams or killer drones? Worse yet, killer robots?)

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Very unclear on COVID-19 

“Dr. Oz is a world-class heart surgeon who has numerous patents and written hundreds of original peer-reviewed publications. He knows the truth, the data, and the science about combatting COVID and understands how it really affects you and your family. 

While elites with yards tell those without yards to stay inside (where the virus was waiting) and mask up, Dr. Oz has put his expertise to work on behalf of us. 

Dr. Oz is opposed to prolonged business shutdowns, and he believes it is critical to keep our children in school because the science overwhelmingly supports it.”

The site fails to mention his controversial willingness to lose a certain percentage of our vulnerable population to COVID: “We need our mojo back,” he said on Hannity. “Let’s start with things really critical to the nation. Schools are a very appetizing opportunity. I just saw a nice piece in the Lancet arguing that the opening of schools may only cost us 2-3% of the population in terms of total mortality. 

Any life is a life lost, but to get every child back into school where they’re safely being educated, being fed, and making the most out of their lives with a theoretical risk on the backside — it might be a trade-off some folks would consider”.

The website fails to mention his endorsement of hydroxychloroquine, which led to Donald Trump’s endorsement. 

Cannabis Legalization

The doctor’s platform does not come out as either for or against cannabis legalization at this time. He’s both for or against cannabis use at any given time, depending on where the winds of expediency blow for this situational enthusiast. 

Anti-Immigration Hypocrisy

Oz’s anti-immigration stance chose to ignore the fact that Lisa’s family’s company, the Asplundh Tree Company, was fined $95 million for employing illegal immigrants, in fact, the “largest civil settlement agreement ever levied by ICE.” (Since I’m almost positive he would try and deny any relationship I’m adding this link that shows that his wife, Lisa’s donates to Asplundh Tree Company’s PAC, the family PAC that donates to Josh Hawley, Joe Manchin and Barbara Comstock who voted against the American Health Care Act of 2017 and who opposes same-sex marriage. 

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He’s Against Black Lives Matter and Against Teaching Critical Race Theory

“I do not support the actions being taken by the Black Lives Matter organization and its leadership. BLM has the wrong approach at every level,” Oz said — adding the movement had “incit[ed] violence and property destruction.” 

CRT (Critical Race Theory) is “harmful to race relations “We should not be teaching or telling students that America is inherently racist. We are stronger as a country when we stand together – not divided on racial lines,” Oz said.

Code for NOT Universal Healthcare? 

“It all starts with YOU,” says Oz. “Dr. Oz has advocated for decades that we, the people, are empowered to change our lives for the better. We can recognize as a nation that the choices we make about what we eat affect the cost of our healthcare. 

The easier we make it is to get a job, the fewer people depend on the government. Telling people to seek the bare minimum rather than aspiring for greatness leads to an ever-growing chasm between those left behind and the elites, who are all too happy to tell you how to live your life.”

Bryn Athyn

The town of Bryn Athyn has changed a lot since I lived there, from the intolerant, LGBTQ-hostile place I grew up to a place that is reshaping its moral compass. The charge is led by John Lewis-like trans people and their supporters. They are looking people in the eye and trying to see each other’s humanity. I do not think Dr. Oz will be adding anything positive to that dialogue.

Conversion Therapy

I hope nobody there is listening to him. That’s probably why I searched for Oz’s Show’s conversion therapy” episode. I learned that the gay community was quite offended by him, specifically in reaction to that episode. “The same-sex desires, just like it was in my case, just went away. And today, I’m married, I have two kids, and I’m so happy,” Christopher Doyle says in a 2012 Dr. Oz appearance that can no longer be found anywhere

In a Huff Post article entitled “I Was On The Dr. Oz Show. Here’s The Problem With The Wizard Behind The Curtain,” Gabriel Arana writes: 

“…he presented ex-gay therapy as a scientific debate, featuring the stories of people like me who tried to change their sexual orientation and nearly killed themselves in the process, and those who claimed to have successfully prayed away the gay. 

He featured Julie Hilden, then president of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, the country’s leading group for practitioners of ex-gay therapy, as well as Harvard Medical School’s John Sharp for balance. A number of representatives from LGBT-rights groups were also invited on.

The thing is, there is no scientific debate over ex-gay therapy, which has been soundly rejected by the medical establishment and shown to lead to depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts, as well as damaged self-esteem

The American Medical Association — the country’s largest professional organization for doctors, to which Dr. Oz belongs* — says it “oppose[s] any psychiatric treatment, such as ‘reparative’ or ‘conversion’ which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder.” 

So does the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, and the American Psychiatric Association, which says that “ethical practitioners refrain from attempts to change individuals’ sexual orientation.

And yet Oz used his platform to let ex-gay quacks promote their theories. At the end of the show, he offered a lukewarm recommendation against conversion therapy, portraying its efficacy as an open question: “I have not found enough published data supporting positive results with gay reparative therapy.” But the damage was already done. How many thousands of gay teens will have to suffer — are now suffering — through years of ex-gay therapy because their parents watched the show?”

What makes it all so much worse is that Oz aired the show following directly on the heels of California passing a “pioneering law that prohibits treating young gay people with psychotherapy in an attempt to change their sexual orientation

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Doctors Don’t Trust Dr. Oz

Bryn Athyn doesn’t need Dr. Oz, and neither does Pennsylvania or anywhere else. This man is doing real damage despite promising to help “re-light the ‘divine spark’ inside every American and empower us to live better lives.” It’s scary enough that he’s a part-time surgeon. He’s starting to sound like a preacher. Meanwhile, Columbia University quietly changes its position to “professor emeritus. 

So how are we to know what this man actually thinks? I don’t think it matters what he thinks because chances are it won’t align with what he says anyway. 

When you repeat a phrase enough, it loses its meaning: Family Values, America First, Heal America. In the end, it means nothing. Catchphrases encourage us not to think critically, no matter how much Jeopardy! we watch. I think we can safely say that this man is full of S-shaped poop, and all he will give us as a political leader is another load of crap. His primary goal seems to be accumulating as much wealth and power as possible. 

Checking the Boxes

My sources tell me that Oz asks Bryn Athyn locals for contributions, people with much less money than he has. That’s not all. His campaign website contribution page is dangerous if you forget about unchecking his pre-checked boxes. You could end up paying way more than you intended. 

“Oz, along with fellow Republican Dave White, who’s running for governor, are the latest GOP candidates who have included pre-checked boxes on their fundraising solicitations that set up donors to make indefinite campaign contributions. Both candidates are self-proclaimed millionaires and successful businessmen, whose personal wealth could be an asset as they both attempt to win competitive statewide primary elections in 2022,” says Steven Caruso in a Pittsburg City Paper Article.

Let’s not give him any more power than he already has. We all know how it went the last time we elected a reality television host to office. 

Disclaimer: This is an opinion article (op-ed). The views and opinions expressed in this op-ed article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of OBVIOUS Magazine, SEPT20TH MEDIA, LLC. its staff, partners, and its affiliates.

PHOTO CREDIT: David Berkowitz


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