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Do we need Dr. Oz and his megaphone?

Famous people hold the public’s attention more so that most of us in public health. Just look at the average American and ask them where they get their health information from. Chances are that they get it from pharmaceutical company commercials on television, celebrity doctors, or niche blogs on the internet. So do we in public health and medicine need to reach out and team up with celebrities — even those who promote quackery very openly and very vociferously — in order to reach a wider audience? And if we do need to do it, should we do it? Here’s some thoughts I had on the subject after an interesting exchange on Twitter with Dr. Leana Wen, Health Commissioner at the Baltimore City Department of Health.