“Extreme Makeover” Doctor Fined for Prescribing Steroids and hGH

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A cosmetic surgeon who was a regular participant in the Australian version of the reality television series “Extreme Makeover” was fined $15,000 for illegally prescribing anabolic steroids (testosterone) and human growth hormone (hGH). The New South Wales Medical Tribunal found Dr. Michael Zacharia guilty of professional misconduct when he promoted the controversial anti-aging treatment involving the performance-enhancing drugs.

The Medical Tribunal determined that anabolic steroids and human growth hormone were not a proven or medically-accepted treatment for anti-aging and could potential harm patients. Zacharia was accused of failing to maintain adequate patient notes and laboratory results for his patients treated with steroids and hGH.


Dr. Zacharia maintained that he was simply a scapegoat as doctors regularly prescribed steroids for the exact same purposes in Australia and the United States.

“I have had this issue placed against me but really there are lots of other doctors who are performing exactly what I was doing – thousands of other doctors both here and over in America – and it is something that for some reason I have been singled out,” protested Zacharia.

Dr. Zacharia became a celebrity in Australia because of his participation in “Extreme Makeover”.  After the success of the original ABC television show featuring Beverly Hills plastic surgeons, the producers created a local edition for the Australian market.

Zacharia was the cosmetic surgeon for the “Extreme Team” that also included a cosmetic dentist and advanced hair and makeup team. Volunteers were given the opportunity to be treated to a “Cinderella-like experience” and be transformed from “an ugly duckling” to a “beautiful swan” by the “Extreme Team”.

Dr. Zacharia is the current president of the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery. He previously served on the medical advisory committee for the Bondi Junction Private Hospital. He is also listed as a doctor on the Esteem Cosmetic Studio website .

In addition to the $15,000 fine, Zacharia can no longer prescribe anabolic steroids or hGH. He must refrain from advertising any type of anti-aging services and must limit his practice to ear, nose and throat surgery.

 Cosmetic surgeon Michael Zacharia


Squires, R. (January 8, 2012). Celebrity doctor Michael Zacharia fined $15,000 for illegal prescriptions. Retrieved from http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/celebrity-doctor-fined-15000-for-illegal-prescriptions-surgeons-steroid-disgrace/story-e6freuy9-1226239001568