10 Horrifying Pieces of Advice Given by TV ‘Doctors’

Tons of people tune in daily to watch episodes of their favorite TV and radio shows featuring advice from ‘doctors’ like Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz. These ‘doctors’ are licensed in some way — but maybe not exactly in the way that you expect. For example: Dr. Phil, who advertises himself as a psychologist, actually did have a PhD in psychology — until 2006, when he let his credentials lapse.

What’s more problematic is that these TV doctors are less concerned with helping their clients, and more focused on capturing drama for their viewers. This has led them to dispense some truly horrifying advice that no sane doctor would ever give their patients. Advice like…

“Just stop hitting your children”

This choice quote came from Dr. Phil’s TV show in 2009. He was counseling a woman who confessed to hitting her children, and she came on the show to see if Dr. Phil could help her stop. His advice was for her to, “just stop hitting your children,” which I’m sure the woman had thought of before. He went on to further minimize her problem, telling her, “It’s not that you won’t, it’s just that you don’t.” Oh, OK then.

Paul Hakimata Photography / Shutterstock.com

Paul Hakimata Photography / Shutterstock.com

Dr. Oz warns against mercury in tuna

Dr. Mehmet Oz has made a fortune shilling dubious health advice on his Oprah-endorsed program The Dr. Oz Show. Even though Dr. Oz has been called out in the past for promoting some truly useless products under the guise of them being the next biggest trend in health, he is always very careful to follow his advice up with a “study,” ostensibly proving his point. (The accuracy of these studies is usually dubious at best, as you’ll learn later in this article.)

He used this tactic when he warned Americans about mercury poisoning by cautioning them against eating tuna. What he didn’t add was that studies have shown most fish contain only a very small amount of mercury. Not exactly worthy of panic.

s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

“Maybe you’re just broken in the ‘I-can-feel-compassion-for-someone’ department.”

Dr. Laura Schlessinger has had her own talk show on the radio since 1994, focused on personal wellness and family issues. In 2011, she officially moved her show from public radio to Sirius XM satellite radio, in a move she claimed was due to producers infringing on her First Amendment rights. One of the worst things she said before she switched to satellite radio was, “maybe you’re just broken in the ‘I-can-feel-compassion-for-someone’ department,” which she told a heartbroken wife who was asking the good doctor to counsel her through a divorce.

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