The American Medical Association is, for the first time, beginning to take seriously the problem of grifters like Dr. Oz making huge money by peddling inaccurate medical advice in the media. This is at least a step in the right direction, though I don’t think it goes nearly far enough.
Medical students and residents frustrated with bogus advice from doctors on TV have, for more than a year, been asking the American Medical Association to clamp down and “defend the integrity of the profession.”
Now the AMA is finally taking a stand on quack MDs who spread pseudoscience in the media.
“This is a turning point where the AMA is willing to go out in public and actively defend the profession,” Benjamin Mazer, a medical student at the University of Rochester who was involved in crafting the resolution, said. “This is one of the most proactive steps that the AMA has taken [on mass media issues].”
The AMA will look at creating ethical guidelines for physicians in the media, write a report on how doctors may be disciplined for violating medical ethics through their press involvement, and release a public statement denouncing the dissemination of dubious medical information through the radio, TV, newspapers, or websites.
The move came out of the AMA’s annual meeting in Chicago this week, where representatives from across the country vote on policies brought forward by members of the medical community.
The AMA does not actually license doctors, so they are limited in what they can do. At the very least they can use their bully pulpit to condemn Dr. Oz and the many smaller versions of him around the country pushing “miracle” cures for everything from obesity to cancer. This kind of medical malpractice should result in losing one’s license to practice medicine.