Dancing Dr. Oz Angers Nonprofit Nursing Groups

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December 7, 2010; Source: Associated Press | A nonprofit nursing group was so offended by how nurses were portrayed on a popular medical advice show that it has launched a letter-writing campaign to express its anger. The group, The Truth About Nursing, is fuming over a November segment of the “Dr. Oz Show” about weight loss that, according to the Associated Press, “featured six women wearing high heels, retro nurses’ caps and white dresses with red lingerie peeking out.”

During the segment, the women danced around the stage with the host, Dr. Mehmet Oz, in response to one of the guests who attributed her weight loss to dancing. Sandy Summers, the nursing group’s executive director, characterized the segment as demoralizing and demeaning to nurses and is encouraging others to express their anger in letters to the show’s producer. “Many people look to Dr. Oz for reliable health information, and he should teach them who nurses really are, and be part of the solution to the nursing crisis,” Summer said.

The show also drew the ire of the American Nurses Association, whose spokeswoman Joan Hurwitz said, “It’s disappointing in terms of a show like ‘Dr. Oz’ using that kind of sexist caricature of nursing.” Predictably, the show issued a statement earlier this week claiming no offense was intended and promising “to do better in the future.” At this point, an appropriate response from the angry nurses would be: “Physician, heal thyself.”—Bruce Trachtenberg