First made famous when he began making guest appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, since then Dr. Oz has become a daytime TV mainstay. Actually a cardiothoracic surgeon in real life, Dr. Oz has some very legitimate qualifications for his role. Currently the star of The Dr. Oz Show, which first began airing in 2009, his highly successful self-titled series doesn’t seem likely to slow down anytime soon.
Considering the fact that Dr. Oz has built up an extremely loyal fan base over the years, it is surprising how many people know almost nothing about the man. In fact, there are loads of folks out there who know nothing about him aside from the fact that he is a TV star who has been at the center of some controversies over the years. With all of that in mind, it is time to take a look at this list of 20 little-known facts about Dr. Oz.
In order for a piece of information to be considered for this list, it first and foremost needs to have something to do with the television’s Dr. Oz in one way or another. On top of that, it can’t be something that the majority of people seem to be aware of.
20 He Is Dedicated To His Daily Workout
If there is one thing above all else that this list will make clear, it is this: Dr. Oz has accomplished a lot throughout his life. In fact, there is no way the man could have achieved so much unless he was an incredibly hard worker with an extreme amount of dedication. And he definitely is!
For example, even though he has several demanding careers that require a great deal of his time, and a large family, the man puts aside time every day to remain fit. In fact, every morning he spends seven minutes on a blend of yoga and calisthenics, which obviously isn’t a lot of time but it does speak to his dedication.
19 He Decided To Become A Doctor At The Age Of Seven
In this day and age, it often feels like people have a harder time than ever figuring out what they want to do with their lives. Fortunately, for Mehmet Oz, that is not something he ever had to struggle with as he decided what he wanted to do for a living when he was still a child. The son of a doctor himself, he watched his father work as a surgeon growing up and it had a huge impact on his life.
Inspired by his dad’s work, Oz decided to follow in his footsteps at the young age of seven. While we can’t say for sure that he never considered going down a career route unrelated to medicine, clearly he pulled off his childhood dream.
18 Dr. Oz Earned More Than His MD
In a world in which many TV doctors clearly want their audiences to think they are medical doctors even though that isn’t the case, Mehmet Oz stands out as he actually is a real-life surgeon.
What many of his viewers may not realize, however, is that Dr. Oz earned more than just his MD when he went to school. He also got his MBA. For those of you who are unaware of what that is, the man holds a master’s degree in business administration which would allow him to work in the medical field on the level of management.
17 He Is An Accomplished Writer
Evidently a man who can’t get enough of work, Dr. Oz has spent the last several years regularly putting pen to paper. He has authored more than 400 bodies of work, including eight New York Times best-selling books as well as medical texts. In addition to that, Dr. Oz regularly pens articles for publications like Esquire.
That said, it should be noted that we don’t know whether or not he employs a ghost writer, but still, putting out that much material is impressive.
16 He Has A Very Important Role At Columbia University
As we touched on earlier in this list, unlike a lot of TV personalities who call themselves doctors, Mehmet Oz is licensed to practice medicine. As it turns out, he isn’t only allowed to be involved in the medical field - he has an active role in the business side of things, too.
Employed by an esteemed institution, he serves as a vice chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University. Obviously a very impressive job title, the fact that Dr. Oz has a role that important even though he spends a lot of time as a TV host reveals the way his bosses at Columbia University honor his knowledge.
15 He Thinks Art Is Just As Important As Science
Judging by the way TV and movies portray many wealthy doctors, they all seem to have an appreciation for viewing expensive art. However, Dr. Oz’s respect for the art world goes a bit deeper as he views it as important for scientific advancement.
Speaking to Success Magazine about this, Oz said, “Look at the greatest advancements in medicine and science. They’re often predated by wisdom that derives from artists.”
As an example of this, Oz pointed to the Impressionist movement that made use of tiny dots of paint that looked like small particles which created a full picture. This movement occurred 35 years before Einstein created his theory of relativity.
14 He Accomplished Something At Harvard
Obviously closely associated with Columbia University as we touched on earlier in this list, Dr. Oz has a really important professional role there to this day. On top of that, he also worked hard to attain his MD and MBA from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Wharton Business School in the mid-'80s.
While those schools clearly are respected by the masses, there still is no doubt that another post-secondary school Oz previously attended is a cut above the rest. Able to earn admission to the world-famous Harvard University, while there Dr. Oz managed to attain his undergraduate degree.
13 He Co-Founded A Company Named ShareCare, Inc.
Based on the fact that Dr. Oz is happy to give out medical advice on television, he obviously sees the benefits of creating more avenues for people to learn about their health. Perhaps that is why he co-founded a company named ShareCare, Inc. which creates medical technology. He even won a Best Medical App Award that was given out by Ask MD back in 2013.
As for what his acclaimed app has achieved, it offers a personalized, digital wellness service that analyzes people's health, gives them expert guidance, and puts them on a customized diet-and-fitness program. Assuming the app works as advertised, it sounds pretty great to us.
12 He And His Wife Were Set Up By Their Fathers
Married since the year 1985, from all accounts it seems like Dr. Oz and his wife have been happily married since then. As it turns out, the two of them owe all of their happiness to their fathers as their dads set them up.
Obviously, we don’t know what kind of relationship Mehmet and his wife Lisa have with their parents, but we can easily imagine their fathers bragging about their Cupid skills! That said, it certainly seems like their dads have a lot to brag about as they did something wonderful from what we can tell.
11 His Medical Career Is Award-Winning
No stranger to praise in most areas of his life, throughout his time in the spotlight several organizations have paid tribute to what Dr. Oz has done in the entertainment world. As it turns out, his career as a surgeon has also earned him some very positive attention in recent years.
In fact, New York Magazine chose to include him on their list of the Best Doctors of the Year. If that doesn’t confirm the idea that he never needed to become a TV star in order to make a difference in the world, nothing does.
10 Being A TV Star Saved His Life
Dr. Oz’s decision to become a TV star has brought a great deal of controversy into his life. Of course, it also has affected him in several positive ways, including making him famous, earning him a legion of extremely loyal fans, and obviously, he has become a wealthy man.
If all of that weren’t enough, and it certainly should be, Dr. Oz’s life was saved by his television role. This is the case because he got a colonoscopy for his show and during the process, it was discovered that he’d developed a cancerous polyp. Fortunately, early detection allowed him to treat the ailment quickly.
9 His Show Is Just Like Many Sitcoms In One Way
Dr. Oz’s show and your average sitcom have very little in common aside from being filmed by cameras and airing on TV. Despite that, prior to the recording of each episode of The Dr. Oz Show producers bring out a stand-up comedian to warm up the live audience just like in the case of sitcoms that are filmed in front of crowds.
Even though that seems very odd since The Dr. Oz Show is not funny, we guess it makes sense since making sure a live studio audience is enthusiastic serves the same purpose for shows of every genre.
8 In University He Was An Athlete
If you have ever known someone who is good at everything and found yourself annoyed at how talented they are, it's a very good thing that you don’t know Dr. Oz IRL. After all, we’ve already pointed out that he is a successful surgeon, author, TV star, and hospital executive, and we are about to look at another one of his abilities.
During Oz’s time in University, he was able to qualify for his school’s water polo and intercollegiate football teams. Sure, it isn’t like he became a professional athlete or anything, but clearly he could outperform most people who like to play in their backyards.
7 He Is Associated With The NYPD
Tasked with watching over a densely populated area that at one time was renowned for a lot of crime, being a member of the NYPD is no easy task, especially when the organization finds itself in controversy. Obviously a dangerous profession, being a cop involves dealing with doctors a lot, both as a patient and when taking injured people to safety.
With that in mind, it is a really good thing when cops and medical professionals have a healthy relationship. Fortunately for members of the NYPD, they at least have one doctor on their side: Dr. Oz! He has been named an honorary New York City police surgeon.
6 He Has The Respect Of His Medical Co-Workers
For your average medical doctor, there is nothing more valuable than saving and improving the lives of patients. Of course, it is only human for them to crave the respect and acceptance of their peers. According to what Dr. Oz’s co-worker at New York–Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center Dr. Richard Green told Vox, Dr. Oz certainly has that.
"He's uniformly respected and admired here. Maybe he should be president. I would vote for him," Green said, adding, "If you did a poll of the staff at Columbia and asked them, 'If you needed a heart operation and Mehmet was there, would you want him?' they'd say yes."
5 Dr. Oz’s Father-In-Law Worked On An Incredible Team
While it should go without saying that becoming a doctor is an important accomplishment in life, the fact remains that some medical professionals are a cut above the rest. For example, doctors who manage to break new ground in ways that save many lives can rest assured they’ve done something great for mankind.
Dr. Oz’s father-in-law was a member of a team that performed America’s first heart transplant all the way back in 1968. That's really impressive!
4 He Worked On A Major Movie
Not exactly a sensation when it was first released, the 2002 movie John Q failed to make much of an impact and it has largely been forgotten since then. Focused on a desperate father who takes over a hospital in order to force them to operate on his son, and thus save his life, the movie called on its actors to speak a lot of medical mumbo jumbo.
Since most movie personnel are not doctors, the film’s producers hired Dr. Oz to serve as their medical director. While that may not sound that cool, since John Q failed to pass the test of time, Oz can still brag about having a credit on a Denzel Washington film.
3 During Medical School He Was Named Student Body President
When it comes to the life of Dr. Mehmet Oz, his many accomplishments are almost too incredible to believe. After all, throughout this list, we’ve touched on his many professional accomplishments and how happy he seems to be with his wife.
On top of those things, it turns out that even his university peers liked him. If not, there is no way he would have been elected class president twice and Medical School Student Body President once. Given the fact that Oz clearly worked tirelessly on his scholastic efforts, the idea that he also made a point of being likable is amazing.
2 He Has Changed What It Means To Get Heart Surgeries Or Transplants
The types of surgery that people never want to have, it is no laughing matter when doctors need to operate on your heart or transplant something into your body. If you have gone through one of those procedures in recent years, you probably owe Dr. Oz your gratitude.
This is the case because he holds the patents to 11 devices that are used during those surgeries. Most importantly, he helped to research and develop the left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, which keeps people alive while they await a heart transplant.
1 He Has Been Included On Some Really Important Lists
In our current world, there is no doubt that entertainers are more important than they’ve ever been in the past. On top of that, doctors who help us lead our best lives clearly make a really big difference in the world. When you combine those two ideas, it makes perfect sense that a TV doctor would become a highly important human being.
Still, it is amazing that Esquire Magazine included Dr. Oz on their list of the 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century, and in 2008 Time included him in their list of The World’s Most Influential People.
Sources: Vox, Success, Esquire, New York magazine