Don't believe all you here from TV doctors

Note: We first put this up in 2014. We have kept it up because it has become timeless, and will be relevant for many more years to come.

As 2014 draws to a close, we join the endless number of blogs on the web offering year end thoughts and reflections of the past year. We felt it important to chime in and say something before 2015 leaps in to take over. It is the time of reflection and resolutions after all.

What inspired us to do such a thing?

Dr. Oz.

Not what you expected? Same here. Inspiration comes form the strangest of places and this week’s post is no different.

Last week a sobering article ran in the LA Times. A recent study from a group of Canadian physicians revealed that less that a third of the assertions made on Dr. Oz’s show, and another program The Doctors, could be backed up by medical evidence. They found that 4 in 10 assertions made seem to be based on no evidence at all. Although the group did find that legitimate studies were used for some of the assertions, it also was clear that these studies ran against current medical literature.

Now the things that heal people do not always make sense. We understand this well here at Organic MD. If fact we see people heal when the “medical literature” says otherwise. We see people improve when the common approach to that illness says that the alternative treatment is crazy. We know that medical science takes time to catch up to itself, at times adopting what they once stated impossible and foolish.

We get that. We understand that the evidence is not always there to back up what you see in a patient. Running against current medical literature could mean many things here.

This article pulls at something else however. Something deeper, and in the end harmful, to alternative approaches to medicine. Currently the Federal government is taking to task Dr. Oz and others for the claims made on their shows. Some investigating this issue feel that a show like Dr. Oz functions more as an infomercial than a genuine medical program. The group of Canadian researchers wanted to explore this complaint to see exactly what evidence was used to support the claims of products being marketed on the shows.

The group spent time reviewing several shows, pulling out the various recommendations in each. Generally an episode can present up to twelve recommendations depending on the topic. They had a good selection of diverse claims to choose from as a result. The researchers took time searching for evidence to support the claims. From the report, they placed a fairly wide definition for what support might look like. Even that proved a challenge for some of the recommendations.

Overall they found only 21% of the recommendations could be supported by “believable” evidence and 11% by “somewhat believable”. The Doctors show faired slightly better at 32.5% and 20% for the same descriptors. In their article published in the British Medical Journal recently (see here) they stated,

“Consumers should be skeptical about any recommendations provided on television medical talk shows…Viewers need to realize that the recommendations may not be supported by higher evidence or presented with enough balanced information to adequately inform decision making.”

A point well taken. Awareness and curiosity play essential roles in our wellness. Being thorough in our research of treatments is generally a good thing. Information pours out of the Internet at amazing rates, so access to data and research is stunning. The Internet is not always the best source at times, but for the curious you can learn a great deal about a particular ailment.

Asking questions and working to understand what treatments might effectively help healing is lifelong. Part of the process then is finding sources you trust. Television is not the only source of questionable material. Online you can find many miracle cures. Some of these are legitimate, but again having a trusted source is vital to sift through the muck to get to the good stuff.

So how does Dr. Oz figure into the reason for our post?

We share all this because we make you a promise.

We want you to know that when you come to Organic MD, our intention is for your wellbeing. We spend our time exploring health and wellness in all its many forms. We are curious and open minded. We know from years of experience that healing is a holistic process. It takes many aspects, not just the physical, to find healing.

We also know that rarely does one pill do the trick. We do not adhere to some magic solution to cure your ills. We find that many of the best remedies come handed down to us from our grandparents and great grandparents. For all our technology, sometimes simple solutions like changes in diet and lifestyle hold the most impact. We promise to explore these things for you and give our honest opinion. In the end what you do for your health should be safe.

We want you to find your way to healing. We want you to take hold of that which ails you and make lifelong change. We want to encourage you to ask questions and challenge yourself to try something different. To believe in yourself and your own healing. To connect to your wisdom.

We plan to continue to build trust and be a place dedicated to exploration, knowledge and healing.

Sound good? We hope so.

2015 looks full of possibilities and we plan to work hard to support you in your excellent health.

Thank you all who have joined us the last several months as we’ve taken steps to build the site more. We plan to take many more.

To Your Health.

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