It’s a testable hypothesis

This week, I was interviewed on CNN about my work on this website. I was joined by Dr. David Katz, a physician at Yale, who is also friends with Dr. Oz. During the interview, Dr. Katz said the following about the dangers of false information on TV shows like Oz’s:

This idea that there’s harm? To my knowledge, there is absolutely no proof of net harm. Actually, it’s a testable hypothesis.

Dr. Katz inadvertently endorsed the importance of the Doctors In Oz project. I have heard the phrase, “What’s the harm?” too many times to count while trying to discuss medical quackery in the media with physicians. Your first-hand experiences are a powerful tool to show that patients act on the information they hear in the media. If the information being disseminated is bogus, it has the power to be extraordinarily harmful. If we use the influence of the media to spread accurate information, however, we can greatly improve the public’s health. Let’s test that hypothesis.

April 24, 2015 | Benjamin Mazer