Consumer Reports: Doctor Endorsements Not Always What You Think
March 7, 2007 at 6:53 PM CST - Updated July 3 at 3:02 PM
It's not just actors and athletes who endorse products. Doctors are also asked to lend their name to help sell a product. Have you ever wondered who the physicians are that you see in ads? Consumer Reports checked out the credentials of these doctors and others appearing in recent magazine ads. All turned out to be bona fide medical doctors, but that didn't necessarily mean that their expertise fit with the product they were endorsing. Consumer Reports found a doctor endorsing a fat-burning supplement who is a psychiatry resident. And another doctor quoted in an ad for weight-loss shoes is an OB-GYN.
The American Medical Association does not have a policy prohibiting physicians from giving paid endorsements. It leaves the decision up to the individual doctor.
When you see a product that's endorsed by a doctor, keep in mind that the doctor is probably being paid for that endorsement, just as if he were an athlete or an actor, so take it with a grain of salt. You can check whether the doctor is licensed at www.docfinder.org.
Consumer Reports has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor appearing on this Web site.