Dr. Mehmet Oz says The Dr. Oz Show is not a medical show and that it will survive despite renewed criticism over some of his on-air health advice and promotion of "miracle" and other controversial products.
Last week, a group of 10 doctors and other medical professionals penned a scathing letter to the dean of medicine at Columbia's University, where the 54-year-old cardiothoracic surgeon works, claiming he promotes "quack treatments" and calling his presence on the school's faculty "unacceptable."
Oz, who remains on staff, had stood up for his practices on his show, in Time magazine op-ed and in a statement. He said he "brings the public information that will help them on their path to be their best selves" and that his critics had "certain agendas which distort the facts."
Oz talked about the criticism of him again on NBC News on Thursday and on NBC's Today show on Friday.
"Without question, the show will survive it," he told co-host Matt Lauer. "I want to keep doing the show for as long as I can because I think we played an important role in making America a better place."
He said on NBC News that the Dr. Oz Show is "not a medical show," adding that its purpose is "not to talk about medicine" but to discuss "the good life."
"Dr. Oz, when you use words like 'breakthrough' and 'radical' and 'miracle' to describe products or processes on your show, does the doctor in you ever cringe at what the talk show host in you is saying?" Lauer asked on the Today show.
"I am proud of all those words," Oz replied. "There was only one time that I had not been proud and that's the understandable frustration that's been expressed about weight loss supplements, which I wish I could take back the words I said about them. This is a flawed area with lots of fraud, both in the research and in products and we no longer talk about them—I haven't talked about them in a year."
"And so many Americans think I'm all about those fake ads coming into their spam folders," he added. "That's not who I am. What I'm trying to do is help people understand their bodies better so they can be the expert on their bodies. So when they go and talk to their doctor, this is important, Matt, that conversation is supported. It's not supposed to be hindered. I hear from viewers and doctors all the time about how we have helped make that conversation easier for them."
Oz told Lauer, "You're not going to please everyone.
"That's not my goal," he added. "My job is to help America understand the opportunity towards health. There are going to be times when I'm going to discuss topics where we just don't have all the information yet. Other times, we're going to be extraordinary targeted because we have a truly new breakthrough on health."
Meanwhile, Oz has received online support from many fans, including from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Brandi Glanville.