Dr. Mehmet Oz and his eponymous television show have come under fire for promoting unscientific cures and treatments to various issues. But now, Oz tells his critics that his daytime program is “not a medical show” and that advice given on it shouldn’t be taken as such.
“The show's purpose is not to talk about medicine,” Oz told NBC News. “The show's purpose is to talk about the good life. What you need to do to live your best.” Oz, who is also scheduled to have an exclusive sit down interview with Matt Lauer for the "Today" show, says the logo of the program purposefully deemphasizes his title as a doctor to deflect away from being perceived as a medical program. “It’s called The Dr. Oz Show. We very purposely, on the logo, have ‘Oz’ as the middle, and the ‘Doctor’ is actually up in the little bar for a reason,” he said. “I want folks to realize that I’m a doctor, and I’m coming into their lives to be supportive of them. But it’s not a medical show.”
Oz’s sit-down interview to defend himself follows criticism from 10 physicians urging that Columbia University cut ties with the TV star. In a letter last Wednesday, the group of physicians said they were “surprised and dismayed” that the university’s College of Physicians and Surgeons continue to keep Oz on as faculty, “let alone a senior administrative position in the Department of Surgery.”
Oz said that the show is “to have a conversation with people who may be feeling the way you feel right and maybe got better.” While Oz defended his program in the interview, he did admit he has some editorial regrets over certain segments.
“There are segments that I made that I wish I could take back. If I could just go back in time, I would have never allowed those words to come out of my mouth, because it completely perverted the conversation I was having with America. But I can’t take back those segments.”
Oz is referring to segments like one where he promoted a weight loss supplement that had little scientific support. The stint landed the doctor at a U.S. Senate hearing last summer, where he was questioned about the integrity of his program and the products that it featured.
To avoid a similar situation, Oz says the language he uses is changing. “We’re specifically avoiding some phrases that we know are inflammatory -- things like ‘miracle.’”