Political candidate, television personality, and cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz is outraged by The Philadelphia Inquirer’s adoption of a policy that will not refer to him as “Dr. Oz.”
Oz, who came to fame after appearing as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and later hosted an eponymous daytime show himself, is a credentialed MD. However, his show has controversially promoted pseudoscience and alternative medicine practices that other physicians have criticized and, in some cases, resoundingly debunked by peer-reviewed research.
Oz is currently making a bid for senator in the state of Pennsylvania. The Inquirer recently announced they would refer to the nascent Republican hopeful as Mehmet Oz, using only his first and last name without reference to his medical designation. Mehmet has accused the newspaper of “putting their thumb on the scale” by not using the honorific. However, the Inquirer notes that they are only acting in accordance with their own style guide and that the only other physician currently in the race, Val Arkoosh, is referred to without any honorific either.
Oz contends he is being “canceled” and “silenced” by The Inquirer, presumably believing that his own name is not on-brand enough for his TV audience. However, many on social media are already lampooning the doctor’s outrage.
Oz recently appeared on Fox News to complain about what he sees as persecution on The Inquirer‘s part, stating on air that, “The Inquirer hates — hates — that I’m empowering you, hates that I’m taking on some of the established folks, hates that the entrepreneurial solutions I’m offering might make sense. They don’t like that I say what I see so they want to silence me. I tell you, it’s shocking that it would make them that uncomfortable this early in the campaign.”
Oz launched his senatorial campaign just last month. Though a long-time resident of New Jersey, he is registered to vote from an address of his mother, who lives in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania. Oz still currently lives in New Jersey.
The Inquirer’s style guide reads thusly: “Do not use Dr. on first reference for anyone with the title, whether they are a medical doctor or have a doctorate in a nonmedical field, to avoid complaints of unequal treatment from individuals who worked hard to achieve doctorates in nonmedical fields.”