Dr. Oz

Dr. Oz

"Dr. Oz" redirects here. For his TV show, see The Dr. Oz Show.
Mehmet Oz
World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in 2012
Born Mehmet Cengiz Öz
(1960-06-11) June 11, 1960 (age 54)
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Residence Cliffside Park, New Jersey, United States
Nationality Turkish-American
Ethnicity Turkish
Education Harvard University (1982)
Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (1986) MBA
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (1986) MD
Occupation Cardiac surgeon, talk show host (The Dr. Oz Show), Professor of Surgery at Columbia University author, and scientist
Years active 2002–present
Spouse(s) Lisa Oz (1985–present)

Mehmet Cengiz Öz (pronounced [mehˈmet dʒenˈɟiz øz] [meh-met jhengis oz]; born June 11, 1960), also known as Dr. Oz, is an Turkish-American cardiothoracic surgeon, author, and television personality.[N 1]

Oz first appeared on the The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2004, and later on Larry King Live and other TV programs. In 2009, The Dr. Oz Show, a daily television program focusing on medical issues and personal health was launched by Winfrey's Harpo Productions and Sony Pictures.[1]

Early life

Oz was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Suna and Mustafa Öz, who had emigrated from Konya Province, Turkey.[2][3] Mustafa Öz was born in Bozkır, a small town in central Turkey. Mustafa Öz earned scholarships that allowed him to emigrate to the United States as a medical resident in 1955. Suna Öz (née Atabay), who comes from a wealthy İstanbul family, is the daughter of a pharmacist with Shapsug descent on her mother's side.[3][4]

Oz was educated at Tower Hill School in Wilmington, Delaware. In 1982 he received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University.[5] In 1986 he obtained MD and MBA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and The Wharton School, respectively.[6] He was awarded the Captain’s Athletic Award for leadership in college[7] and was class president and then student body president during medical school.[8]


Oz has been a professor at the Department of Surgery at Columbia University since 2001.[9] He directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.[10] His research interests include heart replacement surgery, minimally invasive cardiac surgery, and health care policy. With his collaborators, he has authored over 400 research papers, book chapters and medical books and has received several patents.

Oz is the founder and chairman of HealthCorps, a non-profit organization that pays a small stipend to recent college graduates to spend two years in high schools mentoring students about health, nutrition, and fitness.

In 2009, Oz joined Jeffrey T. Arnold (founder of WebMD) as co-founder of Sharecare, Inc.,[11] providing an interactive QA platform that allows industry experts to answer health-related questions.[12]

Oz described his philosophy to The New Yorker: “I want no more barriers between patient and medicine. I would take us all back a thousand years, when our ancestors lived in small villages and there was always a healer in that village.”[13]

Television, radio and movies

Oz appeared as a health expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show for five seasons.[14] On the show, he addressed issues like Type 2 diabetes[15] and promoted resveratrol supplements,[16] which he claimed were anti-aging. His Transplant! television series won both a Freddie[17] and a Silver Telly award.[18] He has appeared on Good Morning America, the Today show, Larry King Live and The View, as well as guest-hosting the Charlie Rose show. In addition, he served as medical director of Denzel Washington’s John Q.[19] He currently hosts The Dr. Oz Show on television and a talk show on Sirius XM Radio.[3] In January 2011, Oz premiered as part of a weekly show on the Oprah Winfrey Network called "Oprah's Allstars". In each episode, he, Suze Orman and Dr. Phil answer various questions about life, health and finance. He also currently does a health segment on 1010 WINS titled "Your Daily Dose."


Oz co-authored, with Michael F. Roizen, six New York Times best sellers including You: The Owner’s Manual, You: The Smart Patient, You: On a Diet, You: Staying Young, You: Being Beautiful as well as Healing from the Heart. His book You: Having a Baby was published by Free Press in 2009. He has a regular column in Esquire magazine and O, The Oprah Magazine and his article “Retool, Reboot, and Rebuild” was awarded the 2009 National Magazine Award for Personal Service.[20]

Awards and honors

Time magazine ranked Oz at 44th on its list of the "100 Most Influential People in 2008"[21] and Esquire magazine placed him on its list of the "75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century".[22] He was called a Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum[3] and one of “The Harvard 100 Most Influential Alumni” by 02138 magazine.[23] He won the Gross Surgical Research Scholarship.[23] He was listed in “Doctors of the Year” by Hippocrates magazine and in “Healers of the Millennium” by Healthy Living magazine.[24] Oz is annually listed in the Castle Connolly Guide of the top United States doctors,[25] as well as other ranking groups noted below.

Other awards and honors include:

Personal life

Oz lives in Cliffside Park, New Jersey with his wife Lisa.[30] They have been married since 1985[31] and have four children. His eldest daughter is author and television host Daphne Oz.The other three are Arabella, Zoe and Oliver.

Oz is fluent in English and Turkish.[32] He is a holder of Turkish and American citizenship, having served in the Turkish Army to retain his Turkish citizenship.[33]

Oz grew up in a mixed Muslim environment where his father's family were conservatives who believed in the integration of Islam and government, while his mother's family were more secular Muslims.[34] He has been influenced by the mysticism of Sufi Muslims,[35] as well as the ideas of Emanuel Swedenborg, the Swedish scientist, philosopher, and Christian theologian.[36] He wrote in Spirituality and Health Magazine in 2010 that "As I came into contact with Swedenborg's many writings, I began to understand Swedenborg's profound insights and how they applied directly to my life". He mentions Swedenborg's ideas that marriage lasts to eternity, everyone has a purpose in this world, God is love, and Swedenborg's answers to "Why do bad things happen?".[37]

Oz is a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation. "When I meditate, I go to that place where truth lives", he said. "I can see what reality really is, and it is so much easier to form good relationships then."[38]

In August 2010, Oz was diagnosed with a pre-cancerous polyp in the colon during a routine colonoscopy[39] which was performed as part of his show. Oz said that the procedure likely saved his life.[40]


Oz has faced criticism in the past due to his tendency to feature pseudoscience and other controversial subjects.

Arsenic in apple juice

In September 2011, Oz drew criticism for a show focusing on the dangers of arsenic in apple juice. Oz hired an independent toxicology laboratory, EMSL, and found arsenic levels in some samples to be above the limit U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows in drinking water.[41] A school district in a small town in Illinois took apple juice off its menu after the show.[42] The FDA said "there is currently no evidence to suggest a public health risk", and criticized the emphasis on measurements of total arsenic without distinguishing between harmless organic arsenic compounds and toxic inorganic arsenic compounds that pose differing levels of health risk.[43][44][45][46] Nestlé, which manufactures some brands of Apple juice, also criticized the show's testing methodology, claiming that the particular testing method used was intended for testing water, not juice, and for that reason, the results would be "unreliable at best."

Consumer Reports conducted similar tests on samples of apple and grape juices around the same time. Unlike the tests done by Oz, Consumer Reports tested for both organic and inorganic types of arsenic. Results showed that 6% (5 out of 80) of the samples tested by Consumer Reports exceeded the 10 parts-per-billion (ppb) federal limit for arsenic in drinking water. However, when counting only inorganic arsenic, only one of the 80 apple juice samples tested exceeded 10-part-per-billion limit, and even then only slightly, at 10.48 ppb.[47][48] The limits, however, only apply to arsenic levels for drinking water; there are no legal limits for arsenic in juices. However, after the Dr. Oz Show aired, the FDA indicated it is continuing to research the levels of arsenic in juices and other foods, and may implement limits for juices in the future.[49]

Real Age drug marketing

Oz is a spokesman and advisor for the website RealAge.com, which The New York Times has criticized for its pharmaceutical marketing practices. The site solicits medical information from visitors to determine a visitor’s biological age and then uses the visitor's medical profile for pharmaceutical marketing purposes. As The Times reporter explained the significance of this fact: "While few people would fill out a detailed questionnaire about their health and hand it over to a drug company looking for suggestions for new medications, that is essentially what RealAge is doing."[50]

Alternative medicine

Oz is a supporter of integrative medicine—combining conventional medical treatments with alternative therapies such as hypnosis, prayer, energy healing, and homeopathy.[2][51] Oz's wife, Lisa, is described as a master of Reiki, a form of energy healing.[52] Some conventional medical practitioners complain that Oz promotes unproven and harmful alternative medicine practices.[53][51][54][55] Oz has described homeopathy to be "worth considering" for headaches alongside conventional remedies,[56] even though homeopathy is considered ineffective and worthless by scientific and medical communities.[57][58][59][60][61]

Reparative therapy of homosexuals

An episode of The Dr. Oz Show that aired on November 28, 2012, was devoted to "reparative therapy". Advocates of this practice view homosexuality as an illness or mental health problem that can be "cured". The American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and others maintain that homosexuality is not an illness.[62] The broadcast featured spokesperson Julie Hamilton of NARTH, the primary organization in favor of reparative therapy, as well as representatives of GLAAD and others. LGBT advocacy groups condemned Oz for providing a platform for reparative therapy advocates. Oz wrote on his blog that he "felt they needed to include all parties [in a discussion]" but agreed with established medical consensus that the data does not support any positive results for reparative therapy. The statements did not appease members of the LGBT community.[63]


  • Healing from the Heart: A Leading Surgeon Combines Eastern and Western Traditions to Create the Medicine of the Future, by Mehmet Öz, Ron Arias, Dean Ornish, 1999, ISBN 0-452-27955-0.
  • Complementary and Alternative Cardiovascular Medicine: Clinical Handbook, by Richard A. Stein (Editor), Mehmet, M.D. Oz (Editor), 2004, ISBN 1-58829-186-3.
  • YOU: The Owner's Manual: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger, by Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz, 2005, ISBN 0-06-076531-3.
  • YOU: On a Diet: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management, by Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz, 2006, ISBN 0-7432-9254-5.
  • YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment, by Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz, 2006, ISBN 0-7432-9301-0.
  • YOU: Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty, by Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz, 2007, ISBN 0-7432-9256-1.
  • YOU: Being Beautiful: The Owner's Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty, by Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz, 2008, ISBN 1-4165-7234-1.
  • YOU: Breathing Easy: Meditation and Breathing Techniques to Help You Relax, Refresh, and Revitalize, by Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz, 2008.
  • YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual from Conception to Delivery and More, by Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz, 2009.
  • Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery, by Mehmet C. Oz, 2010, ISBN 1-61737-400-8.
  • Numerous editorials in TIME, Newsweek, O Magazine, Esquire Magazine, and The New England Journal of Medicine

Television shows

  • Second Opinion with Dr Oz on Discovery during the 2003–04 season [24]
  • Life Line on Discovery Health
  • Daily Rounds on Discovery Health
  • The Truth About Food on Discovery Health
  • Live Transplant on Discovery Health
  • National Body Challenge on Discovery Health
  • You: On a Diet on Discovery Health
  • Ask Dr. Oz on The Oprah Winfrey Show
  • AccentHealth on Turner Private Networks—a health-themed newsmagazine program designed for viewing in doctor's offices.
  • The Colbert Report on Comedy Central.
  • The Dr. Oz Show, Syndicated
  • Your Life A to Z with Dr. Oz[64]
  • NY Med on ABC



Further reading

  • Brown, Heidi, Forbes magazine, August 4, 2008
  • The New Yorker, February 4, 2013.

External links

  • Dr. Oz Show
  • Columbia University Department of Surgery profile
  • Internet Movie Database