Mehmet Oz

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"Dr. Oz" redirects here. For his television show, see The Dr. Oz Show.
Mehmet Oz
Mehmet Oz - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012.jpg
Oz at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in 2012
Born Mehmet Cengiz Öz
(1960-06-11) June 11, 1960 (age 55)
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Residence Cliffside Park, New Jersey, United States
Alma mater Harvard University (A.B.)
University of Pennsylvania (M.D., M.B.A.)
Occupation Surgeon, talk show host, author
Years active 2002–present
Spouse(s) Lisa Lemole (m. 1985)

Mehmet Cengiz Öz (Turkish: [mehˈmet dʒenˈɟiz øz]; born June 11, 1960), better known as Dr. Oz, is a Turkish-American[1][2][3] cardiothoracic surgeon, author and television personality. He is supportive of alternative medicine and has been criticized by physicians, government officials and publications, including Popular Science and The New Yorker, for giving non-scientific advice.

Oz first appeared on 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.[4]

Early life[edit]

Oz was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Suna and Mustafa Öz, who had emigrated from Konya Province, Turkey.[5][6] Mustafa, born in Bozkır, a small town in central Turkey, earned scholarships that allowed him to emigrate to the United States as a medical resident in 1955. Suna (née Atabay), who comes from a wealthy İstanbul family, is the daughter of a pharmacist with Shapsug descent on her mother's side. Mehmet Cengiz Oz has two sisters, Seval Oz and Nazlim Oz.[6][7]

Oz was educated at Tower Hill School in Wilmington, Delaware.[8] In 1982 he received his undergraduate degree at Harvard University.[9] In 1986 he obtained MD and MBA degrees respectively at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine[8] and Penn's Wharton School.[10] He was awarded the Captain's Athletic Award for leadership in college[11] and was class president and then student body president during medical school.[12]


Oz has been a professor at the Department of Surgery at Columbia University since 2001.[13] He directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.[14] His research interests include heart replacement surgery, minimally invasive cardiac surgery, and health care policy.

In 2009, Oz joined Jeffrey T. Arnold as co-founder of Sharecare, Inc.,[15] providing an interactive question and answer platform for industry experts to answer health-related questions.[16]

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."[17]

Television, radio and films[edit]

Oz appeared as a health expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show for five seasons.[18] On the show, he addressed issues like Type 2 diabetes[19] and promoted resveratrol supplements, which he stated were anti-aging.[20] His Transplant! television series won both a Freddie[21] and a Silver Telly award.[22] He served as medical director for Denzel Washington's John Q.[23] He currently hosts The Dr. Oz Show on television and a talk show on Sirius XM Radio.[6] Oz was featured in season 1 of the ABC reality show "NY Med".[24] 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.[25]

Oz and the Hearst Corporation launched the bi-monthly magazine Dr. Oz THE GOOD LIFE on February 4, 2014.[26]

Awards and honors[edit]

Mehmet Oz at ServiceNation in 2008

Time magazine ranked Oz at 44th on its list of the "100 Most Influential People in 2008"[27] and Esquire magazine placed him on its list of the "75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century".[28] He was named one of "The Harvard 100 Most Influential Alumni" by 02138 magazine.[29] He won the Gross Surgical Research Scholarship.[29] He was listed in "Doctors of the Year" by Hippocrates magazine and in "Healers of the Millennium" by Healthy Living magazine.[30]

Other awards and honors include:

Lack of scientific validity[edit]

Popular Science[33] and The New Yorker[17] have published critical articles on Oz for giving "non-scientific" advice. These criticisms include questioning if he is "doing more harm than good".[17]

The James Randi Educational Foundation has awarded Oz with their Pigasus Award, an award intended "to expose parapsychological, paranormal or psychic frauds that Randi has noted over the previous year."[34] The award consists of a silver flying pig and refers to claiming something so doubtful that it will only happen "when pigs fly". Oz has been given this award on three separate occasions, more than any other recipient:

  • In 2009 for the promotion of energy therapies such as Reiki.[35]
  • In 2012, Oz won "The Pigasus Award for Refusal to Face Reality" for his continued promotion of "quack medical practices, paranormal belief, and pseudoscience".[35]

Oz has also been supportive of homeopathy.[37]

As well, Oz's image and quotes have been used in many weight loss product scams. While he himself has not been found to be involved in these scams, critics claim that he frequently makes statements that can be exploited by scammers.[38]

Oz has countered that he is a proponent of alternative medicine and has stated that he makes great efforts to inform viewers that he neither sells nor endorses any supplements.[39] He also created the organization "OzWatch" as a way for viewers to report scams.[39] Ozwatch has received more than 35,000 complaints and has issued 600 cease and desist letters.[39]

A study published in the British Medical Journal on the effectiveness of Oz's medical advice found that 51 percent of his recommendations had no scientific backing and rationale, or in some cases contradicted scientific evidence.[40] The study showed that 36 points of the 51 percent consisted of no supporting scientific evidence, while the remaining 15 percentage points went directly against scientific evidence.[41]

In April 2015, a group of 10 physicians from across the United States, including Henry Miller, a fellow in scientific philosophy and public policy at Stanford University's Hoover Institute, sent a letter to Columbia University calling Oz's faculty position unacceptable. They accused Oz of "an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain." A spokesman for Oz questioned the integrity and qualifications of the accusing physicians.[42]

June 2014 Senate hearing[edit]

During a Senate hearing on consumer protection, Senator Claire McCaskill stated that by airing segments on weight loss products that are later cited in advertisements, Oz plays a role, intentional or not, in perpetuating these scams, and that she is "concerned that you are melding medical advice, news, and entertainment in a way that harms consumers."[39] Mary Engle of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) criticized Oz for calling green coffee extract "magic" and a "miracle", stating that it is difficult for consumers to listen to their inner voices when products are praised by hosts they trust.[39]

One of the products Oz was promoting, Green Coffee Bean Extract, was found to have no weight loss benefits. Two of the researchers who were paid to write the study admitted that they could not back their data so they retracted their paper. The FTC filed a complaint that the Texas-based company Applied Food Sciences (the promoters of the study) had falsely advertised. The FTC alleged that the study was "so hopelessly flawed that no reliable conclusions could be drawn from it" so Applied Food Sciences agreed to pay a $3.5 million settlement.[43][44]

Personal life[edit]

Oz and his wife Lisa

Oz lives in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, with his wife Lisa.[45] They have been married since 1985[46] and have four children. His eldest daughter is author and television host Daphne Oz.

Oz is fluent in English and Turkish.[47] He is a holder of Turkish and American citizenship, having served in the Turkish Army to retain his Turkish citizenship.[1]

Oz grew up in a mixed Muslim environment where his father's family practiced more traditional Islam, while his mother's family were more secular Muslims.[48] Oz identifies himself as a Muslim[49][50] and says that he has been influenced by the mysticism of Sufi Muslims from Central Turkey,[51] as well as the ideas of Emanuel Swedenborg, the Swedish scientist, philosopher, and Christian theologian.[52][53]

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."[54]

In August 2010, Oz was diagnosed with a pre-cancerous polyp in the colon during a routine colonoscopy[55] which was performed as part of his show. Oz said that the procedure likely saved his life.[56]


  • 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[edit]

  • Second Opinion with Dr Oz on Discovery during the 2003–04 season [30]
  • 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 Dr. Oz Show, Syndicated
  • Your Life A to Z with Dr. Oz[57]
  • NY Med on ABC


  1. ^ a b Brown, Chip (1995-07-30). "The Experiments of Dr. Oz". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  2. ^ Tikkanen, Amy (2015). "Mehmet Oz biography – Turkish American surgeon, educator, and author". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved February 24, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Mehmet Oz – Biography". IMDb. 2015. Retrieved February 24, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Harpo Productions and Sony Pictures Television To Launch Dr. Oz". June 13, 2008. 
  5. ^ Zak, Lana (2009-08-31). "Dr. Oz on Complementary Medicine: 'Challenge the Status Quo'". Good Morning America. Retrieved 2009-10-12. 
  6. ^ a b c ["Faces of America: Dr. Mehmet Oz". Faces of America series, with Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 2010. 
  7. ^ "Dr. Mehmet Öz’ün Düzce’ye uzanan soyağacı". Jineps (in Turkish). 2011-01-01. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  8. ^ a b Rys, Richard (October 30, 2009). "Exit Interview: Dr. Oz". Philadelphia. Metrocorp. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  9. ^ "EXECUTIVE PROFILE: Mehmet C. Oz M.D". Business Week. Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  10. ^ Ratner, Lizzy (2007-08-14). "The Great and Powerful Dr. Oz". New York Observer. Retrieved 2007-09-24. [dead link]
  11. ^ "MEHMET C. OZ, M.D.". WKEF-TV. 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-07-04. 
  12. ^ "Dr Oz – The Dr Oz Show". Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  13. ^ "Mehmet C. Oz, MD, FACS – Department of Surgery". Columbia University. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  14. ^ "Mehmet Oz | Professor, Columbia University". Big Think. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  15. ^ "Sharecare, Inc.". Retrieved 2011-04-01. 
  16. ^ Moukheiber, Zina (2010-11-16). "Names You Need To Know In 2011: Sharecare". Retrieved 2011-04-01. 
  17. ^ a b c Michael Specter (February 4, 2013). "The Operator". The New Yorker. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Live your best Life". Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  19. ^ "Oprah Winfrey takes on a killer: type 2 diabetes". USA Today. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  20. ^ Smillie, Dirk (16 June 2009). "A Headache For Dr. Oz". Forbes. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. 
  21. ^ "The FREDDIE Awards". Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  22. ^ "The 31st Annual TELLY Awards | Winners". Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  23. ^ "John Q (2002) – Full Cast & Crew". IMDb. 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  24. ^ "The Real-Life Dr. McDreamy – Dr. Oz Reunites the Doctors, Nurses, and Patients of NY Med". The Dr. Oz Show. 2012-09-20. Retrieved 2015-02-24. 
  25. ^ "American Society of Magazine Editors – 2010 National Magazine Awards Winners Announced!". 2010-04-22. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  26. ^ "Dr. Oz magazine launch set for Feb. 4". New York Post. 2014-01-26. Retrieved 2014-04-14. 
  27. ^ "The 2008 Time 100". Time. 2009-04-30. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  28. ^ Five, Column (2008-09-16). "Influential People – 21st Century". Esquire. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  29. ^ a b "Listing". Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  30. ^ a b c d "Mehmet Oz Biography". Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  31. ^ "Welcome to The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre". Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  32. ^ "Which Celebrities Can You Trust?". E-Score Celebrity: Ranked by Attribute "Trustworthy". 2010-09-10. Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  33. ^ Lecher, Colin (January 30, 2013). "Is Dr. Oz Bad For Science?". Popular Science. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  34. ^ Wagg, Jeff (October 31, 2008). "Pigasus Awards". James Randi Educational Foundation. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  35. ^ a b Randi, James. "Pigasus Awards". Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  36. ^ Mestel, Rosie (April 1, 2011). "Dr. Oz, Andrew Wakefield and others, um, 'honored' by James Randi". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 2, 2011. 
  37. ^ "Homeopathy Starter Kit, Pt 1". The Dr. Oz Show. January 28, 2013. Retrieved May 22, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Dr. Oz gets scolded by senators over weight loss scams". Fox News. June 17, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2015. 
  39. ^ a b c d e "Senate Sub-Committee for Commerce, Science, and Transportation Hearing on Protecting Consumers from False and Deceptive Advertising of Weight-Loss Products". June 17, 2014. 
  40. ^ McCoy, Terrence (19 December 2014). "Half of Dr. Oz’s medical advice is baseless or wrong, study says". Washington Post. 
  41. ^ Apstein, Adam (20 December 2014). "Research confirms it: Dr. Oz dispenses a lot of medical advice with no scientific grounding". Quartz. 
  42. ^ Physicians to Columbia University: 'Dismayed' that Dr. Oz is on faculty. CNN, April 18, 2015
  43. ^ "Dr.Oz-endorsed diet pill study was bogus, researchers admit". CBS News. 2014-10-20. Retrieved 2015-02-24. 
  44. ^ Saunders, Russell. "Dr. Oz Green Coffee Bean Study Retracted". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2015-02-24. 
  45. ^ Bruni, Frank (April 16, 2010). "Dr. Does-It-All". The New York Times. Retrieved March 22, 2011. That is his base line, to which he adds more yoga, short runs and basketball games with friends near his home in Cliffside Park, N.J., when he can. 
  46. ^ Married on July 29, 1985 in Bryn Athyn, PA – New Church Life, 1985, p. 430.
  47. ^ "The Wizard of Dr Oz – talkturkey". 2009-07-19. Retrieved 2010-05-22. [dead link]
  48. ^ Dr. Oz (2010). Islam and Identity (Flash Video). PBS. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 
  49. ^ "9 Famous Americans You Probably Didn't Know Were Muslim". 2014-10-27. Retrieved 2015-04-20. 
  50. ^ "Dr. Oz: The inside story". 2014-08-10. Retrieved 2015-04-20. 
  51. ^ "Henry Louis Gates Jr. Faces of America: Dr. Mehmet Oz". 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  52. ^ Gardner, Martin (2010). "Swedenborg and Dr. Oz.". Skeptical Inquirer 34 (5). 
  53. ^ "Spirituality & Health: Mehmet Oz Finds His Teacher". Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  54. ^ Skube, Daneen. "Become a wizard of multitasking!". Chicago Tribune. 
  55. ^ "Dr. Oz 'high risk' after cancer scare". 2010-09-01. Retrieved 2010-10-18. 
  56. ^ Triggs, Charlotte (2010-09-01). "Dr. Oz Has Colon Cancer Scare". People. Retrieved 2010-11-30. 
  57. ^ "Dr. Oz: Cooking for your health". 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]