Columbia University and seven other schools make up the prestigious Ivy League. But, sometimes things change and standards drop. It may be time to create a new group of schools, the Poison Ivy League, and perhaps Columbia should be its first member. 

Today's opinion piece in USA today is entitled "Columbia medical faculty: What do we do about Dr. Oz?" has a title that ends with a question mark. And well it should. 

Because if you have a strong enough stomach to read the whole thing, it becomes obvious that they really don't know what to do. Not because they haven't reached an decision (they have—keep him) but because most of their statements are illogical, self-contradictory, or off-topic. If you don't believe me, perhaps they will convince you themselves. Let's take a look at some of them.

"We are members of the Columbia faculty who recognize that the Dr. Oz Show performs a public service by bringing alternative therapies which are generally under-researched and under-regulated into the public forum."

Really? Exactly which alternative therapies are they referring to? Useless green coffee bean extract (It burns fat! Well, it doesn't really, but a blow torch does).  How about some others, such as homeopathy, life-saving energy forces, raspberry ketone (which is a perfectly accurate term, except that it doesn't come from raspberries)? One might think that perhaps physicians at Columbia might want to concentrate more on, let's say, Alzheimer's,  pancreatic cancer, schizophrenia, or Parkinson's Disease—all of which are not only incurable, but just about untreatable.

"However, a 2014 report in The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) reported that less than half of the recommendations on his show are based on at least somewhat believable evidence."

Am I hallucinating or did they just contradict the previous quote?

"Many of us are spending a significant amount of our clinical time debunking Ozisms regarding metabolism game changers."

Now, there's a damn fine use of time. 

" It does not follow that complaints about his on-air medical practice will be addressed by demanding that he leave his other job in which he excels."

Really? If he goes on TV and claims that sautéed moose antlers will cure metastatic brain cancer, will they still stick with this statement? 

"We support Columbia's commitment to faculty freedom of expression in public discussion with the caveat that physicians offering medical advice carry a great responsibility for honesty and accuracy to the public and their peers."

Free speech? They must be kidding. If I'm a world-class doctor with a perfect track record, and offer accurate and honest medical advice, but deny the Holocaust, should I be on the staff of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University?

"Irrespective of the underlying motives, this unsubstantiated medicine sullies the reputation of Columbia University and undermines the trust that is essential to physician-patient relationships."


"Regulatory guidance addressing the tension between his two positions is potentially a far better solution that could result in improved health care both in the doctor's office and in the media."

Well, good luck with that one. Let's check out the ratings when he does a show called "The utility of beta-blockers in control of orthostatic hypertension."

The USA Today letter would seem to lack clarity. Unless I'm reading it wrong: 
-Oz should keep his job provided that he espouses good medicine
-Yet he already has repeatedly espoused not-good medicine.
-And he should still keep his job
-As long as you're a good doctor, it doesn't matter what you do with your personal time.
-It doesn't matter what you study. As long as it sounds cool, it's OK.

Sorry guys, but you can't have it both ways. Do you want a TV star who has repeatedly given preposterous advice on his show, or do you want a superb heart surgeon. You can't have both in one body. Even if he's really good looking.