Columbia University quietly changes Mehmet Oz’s stance amid Senate race

TV doctor-turned-politician Mehmet Oz has apparently retired from clinical practice and teaching at Columbia University since his candidacy for the Senate was announced in Pennsylvania.

Oz, who was once vice president of the Department of Surgery, now holds the title of “Professor Emeritus of Surgery” at the Ivy League School.

The title reflects the fact that Oz, 61, is no longer seeing patients, according to a spokesperson for Columbia, but it is not known how long he has been retired from clinical practice. Oz didn’t get the title emeritus as recently as last month, right after launching his campaign.

Retired professors and faculty members are granted emeritus status “in recognition of distinguished service to the university and eminence in their discipline,” according to the university.

The university did not respond to questions about when the change took place or how involved Oz is still with his medical school. Oz is also now a special lecturer in the surgical department.

The Oz campaign declined to comment on when he took a step back from his clinical practice.

Columbia University’s Irving Medical Center maintains a page for Oz, listing an office for him on its Washington Heights campus and noting that he is majoring as a certified cardiac and thoracic surgeon.

But in early December, Oz was still on the roster of surgical professors and director of the Center for Integrative Medicine – a department he describes as combining traditional medicine with alternative practices such as acupuncture, meditation and yoga. It is not known what happened with this role.

Oz may have too many other things to do to concentrate on the surgery. For over a decade, Oz hosted his daytime medical advice show, “The Dr. Oz Show,” which he quit after launching his campaign. He has also written books and columns offering health advice while promoting unproven and potentially unhealthy weight loss and longevity cures.

Oz’s reputation as a world-class cardiothoracic surgeon is at odds with his penchant for peddling New Age treatments.

In 2015, 10 nationally recognized physicians wrote to Columbia’s dean of physicians, calling on the school to remove Oz for its promotion of “quack” treatments. Doctors said they were “surprised and appalled” that the university’s College of Physicians and Surgeons would allow Oz to continue in a senior administrative position.

“Dr. Oz is guilty of either scandalous conflicts of interest, or erroneous judgments about what constitutes appropriate medical treatment, or both. Whatever the nature of his pathology, members of the public are misled and misled. danger, which makes the presence of Dr Oz on the faculty of a prestigious medical institution unacceptable, ”they wrote.

The university then refused to take action, defending Oz’s right to “free speech.”

Ironically, one of the doctors who signed the 2015 letter, Scott Atlas of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, a conservative think tank, was later criticized for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus.

Atlas and Oz both became health advisers to President Donald Trump, who is known to promote his own medical misinformation.

Atlas could not be reached for comment on Oz.

Oz is now busy running for the United States Senate in Pennsylvania, where he is competing in a crowded GOP primary for an open seat.

The heart surgeon’s campaign last weekend tweeted a photo of him engaging in classic retail politics – posing in front of a giant butter sculpture at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

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