NEW YORK — At 7 a.m. Thursday morning, Dr. Mehmet Oz reports for work at New York Presbyterian Hospital, where he directs the Cardiovascular Institute.
"On Thursdays I don't want to be bothered from the hospital; I want to come here as I always have in my life and do what I have loved to do my whole life, which is to take care of people... I think it grounds me," he said.
You have to run to keep up with Dr. Oz as he makes his rounds before surgery.
Just days away from her 50th birthday, Lorri Gaultieri is having a heart operation. "We are going to take the aorta out and replace it with a sleeve like the sleeve of my jacket," Dr. Oz explains.
"I'm going to find you in the recovery room when we are done, OK? You won't see her for about six hours, but you will see me," Dr. Oz told Mike Gaultieri. "As long as she knows what's happening, we are good; second thing I want to make sure she knows the operation we are doing."
Dr. Oz says the power of beside treatment of patients has been underestimated for the entire history of medical care.
"In time of need, words only go so far. The power of another human being to touch you... to be the support web for you when you are falling... is incalculable."
Next, Dr. Oz checks 51-year0old Timothy Verderame. It's been a week since the doctor repaired a hole in his heart.
"So we made an incision beneath his nipple. You don't have to crack the ribs; you can actually slide them apart, and so we are able to close the hole," he explained.
"Honestly — with all due respect — I didn't even know who you were when I was sitting across the desk from you," Verderame said. "Everyone was saying: "THE Dr. Oz? I didn't know."
Dr. Oz explains that in the surgery he will take part in today, he will not be the star.
"There are people who can do their jobs a lot better than I can, and that's the similarity between that and doing a television show," he said. "There's a central focus; this organized chaos becomes a symphony in the O.R., and if it's not right, it sounds like a cacophony."
Dr. Oz explains that he only does his daily talk show because he is a heart surgeon.
"I love that I can talk to someone one-on-one in the hospital, but I love the fact that I can talk to millions of people at once to get a big message out there," he said.
Dr. Oz emphasizes the importance of staying healthy so you don't have to end up at a hospital.
"All these great people, they will try to support you; but the battle is going to be won in your living room, in your bedroom, in your kitchen... that's where ultimately we will change health in this country."
Watch the Dr. Oz Show weekday afternoons at 3 o'clock on Channel 8.