Dr. Mehmet Oz of The Dr. Oz Show was specifically mentioned as being responsible for the type of behavior and “pseudoscience” that the AMA would like to curtail.
One of the people who helped craft the AMA resolution to tighten control of doctors in the media is not, in fact, a physician himself, but only a medical student. He told Vox in an interview that “Dr. Oz has something like 4 million viewers a day. The average physician doesn’t see a million patients in their [sic] lifetime. That’s why organized medicine should be taking action.” In point of fact, Dr. Oz reaches only half that number—but let’s not let a little thing like accuracy stand in the way of an agenda.
Keep in mind that the AMA is not the voice of the medical profession. Its membership has slipped to the point where it represents only 17% of MDs, and many of those are free memberships given to medical students, yet it remains the fifth most powerful special interest on Capitol Hill, spending $19.7 million on lobbying in 2014. This gives it the clout to influence Medicare prices, make recommendations that shape national policy, and rake in about $218.8 million a year from its government-granted CPT medical code monopoly.
Dr. Oz is a high-profile example, but countless integrative doctors in states across the country routinely face harassment and the threat of having their licenses revoked by state medical boards for the most specious reasons—you may recall our past coverage of the Washington state board’s appalling crusade against Dr. Jonathan Wright as only one example among many. But when conventional doctors engage in behavior that is similar to that of integrative physicians—or when conventional docs flout the laws in the most egregious ways—state boards are far more lenient, if any action is taken at all.