Before the newly-appointed CDC head Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald ran the public health department for the state of Georgia, she was a board-certified OB/GYN with a private practice. But according to a report from Forbes, she not only provided women’s healthcare in the 30 years she practiced medicine – she was also a fellow in “anti-aging medicine.”
The controversial kinds of treatment endorsed by Fitzgerald were reportedly described as “snake-oil” by Dr. David Goldstein, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the New York University School of Medicine.
Her official biography on the Health and Human Services site does not list her as a fellow in anti-aging medicine, but an article from 2013 about the Georgia Dept. of Public Health references her as such and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) mentioned it in his statement praising her appointment to CDC chief.
Forbes dug up information listed on her gynecology practice’s website from 2010, where her credentials including board certification in anti-aging and regenerative medicine by the American Academy in Anti-Aging Medicine. However, the news outlet pointed out that the group that certifies physicians, the American Board of Medical Specialties, doesn’t recognize the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.
The group supports the use of intravenous nutritional therapy and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. But these practices are widely criticized by physicians, including one who described a patient whose hair fell out because she was rubbing testosterone cream into her skin every day, according to a blog that the physician wrote.
While some were encouraged that the Trump administration picked Fitzgerald, who publicly supports vaccines, her previous work with anti-aging treatments are raising eyebrows in the medical community.
“I’m so disappointed that the first female OB/GYN picked to head the CDC is someone who embraces the unproven and anti-scientific claims of the so-called anti-aging movement,” Cindy Pearson, executive director of the National Women’s Health Network, told Forbes.