Are Oprah and Medical Advice a Good Mix?
High-profile celebrities influence people’s choices in fashion, politics and art – but should they play a role in people’s medical decisions, too? “The Oprah Winfrey Show” has taken a lot of heat recently from the medical community for promoting unconventional therapies. A few prominent physicians are now speaking out about the risks of following medical recommendations from non-medical sources. As a doctor, I want people to be better informed and take responsibility for their care. Oprah Winfrey’s show has offered sound medical information, and that’s a good thing. But if her show has promoted alternative treatments without providing a balanced view of the potential risks, then her audience may not be well-served. To be sure, a brief review suggests Oprah’s show has swung well outside the mainstream in a few instances. Three shows come to mind, featuring Suzanne Somers, Dr. Christiane Northrup and Jenny McCarthy. Only one of these guests, Dr. Northrup, is a bonafide physician. In Some