Mehmet Oz is steamed. One of his two
heart surgeries for the week has been
slated for the wrong time, and now his
whole surgery-day schedule is collapsing.
Juggling phone calls in his small, standard-issue office at 30 Rockefeller Center, Oz
speaks to a series of Columbia University
hospital staffers, his voice at a controlled
burn. Finally he tells the chief of staff at
his surgical practice to manage the mess.
If this isn’t sorted out, he knows, he won’t
be able to operate at all this week—and his
patients could suffer.
“The schedule for Thursday has to be redone,” Oz tells
the receiver, turning his back to a desk scattered with
papers and bottles of Fiji water. “I want you to start from
scratch and do the whole thing again.” And so the chief of
staff does—rebooking the coronary bypass, the heart-valve
repair, the consult after consult. Meanwhile, Oz shakes off
the rare moment of anger and returns to his full-time job as
daytime TV’s latest dish.
When Oz was 35, The New York Times Magazine called
him “probably the most accomplished” cardiothoracic surgeon his age in the country. Now 50, the lean, limpid-eyed
physician is an Oprah-branded TV star with a new syndicated program, The Dr. Oz Show, airing all over the country.
Oz has given up most of his practice to focus on his show, but
he still operates one day a week, performing more than 100
surgeries a year. “My wife jokes that I’m a Gemini,” he says,
MOST FANS KNOW OZ because of his guest appearances
on Oprah Winfrey’s syndicated daytime show. But as his
wife, Lisa, points out, “Oprah was on Oz before Oz was on
Oprah.” In 2003, at the invitation of a TV executive who had
been his Harvard roommate, Oz hosted his first TV series, a
13-parter on the Discovery Channel called Second Opinion
With Dr. Oz. One of his guests was Winfrey, who discussed
her battles with weight.
In turn, Winfrey invited Oz to her show to talk about
healthy eating and exercise. In subsequent visits, he per-
fected his trademark shtick of horrifying studio audiences
by displaying real human organs in behavior-related decay:
a calcified aorta, a cirrhotic liver, a tar-riddled lung. His
message: Take care of your body—or else. And Winfrey and
“so I always have two lives at once.”
her audiences listened. “Dr. Oz has been one of the
Though his talk show bears all the genre’s stagy
hallmarks—its makeovers, its celebrity guests,
its confrontations and tears—Oz is not just a
real doctor; he’s a leader in his field. The only
reason he whittled his practice down to those
fraught, precious Thursdays is that he wants
to be your doctor, too. And he’s not likely to stop
trying until you let him. Enter for a chance to win a trip to The Dr. Oz Show. See page 90 for more details.
catalysts for how I view my own health,” says Winfrey. “He has brought me closer to better health,
better wisdom, and a better life for myself.”
Last fall, like Dr. Phil (McGraw) before him,
Oz springboarded from frequent-guest status
to being the host of his own syndicated show
coproduced by Winfrey’s Harpo Productions.
How could an esteemed surgeon find content-
CLOCK WISE, FROM TOP LEF T: BEN DUPON T; NOAH GREENBERG; GEORGE BURNS/HARPO INC.