Dr. Oz: The inside story




Posted on September 9, 2010 at 10:48 PM

Updated Saturday, Sep 11 at 8:24 PM

This week, we've been learning more about Dr. Mehmet Oz as he joins the Channel 8 lineup on weekday afternoons.

Viewers have watched him on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Good Morning America," and now on "The Dr. Oz Show."

But what's he really like?

We spent two days with him in New York, and here's what we found:

Dr. Oz, 50, is a Turkish-American and a practicing Muslim. He has his own TV show and still performs surgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

It's a hectic schedule for a man who — until recently — rode his bike five miles to work across the George Washington Bridge.

"I love both," he said. "I don't think I would be happy with one without the other ... and I don't think I would be as good with one without the other."

It's a balancing act he achieves with help from Mrs. Oz, wife Lisa.

"She would say, 'I know you have a lot of stuff to do, but there's a birthday party and you need to be there,'" he said, adding: "Smartest thing I ever did was to marry her ... she is the conscience that holds me together."

Lisa and Dr. Oz have four children ages 11 to 24. His eldest, daughter Daphne, got married last week.

"I was lamenting that I didn't have a whole lot of time with her; I bet a lot of parents feel that way," he said. "I remember holding her on my shoulder as I studied for my exams in med school... and it just passed."

Dr. Oz loves sports. He plays basketball, played football in college, and does yoga.

He has an unique way of combining family time with his passion for sports. He calls family game nights the "Oz Olympics."

"So we'll play a basketball game, pitching, racing... poetry... but the idea is to make us all compete because I have always found that I learn a lot about how someone will behave by how they compete," Dr. Oz explained. "We don't always win, but we know how to compete."

Dr. Oz works hard, plays hard, and tries to eat right. His brown bag is full of healthy foods. But he recently got a big scare when a precancerous polyp was found during a colonoscopy.

"I was embarrassed to get it, but I was more embarrassed to have the polyp," he said.

Dr. Oz admits that with his healthy lifestyle, this was something he did not expect. He'll have a follow-up exam in three months; then every five years after that.

"'What a fool I was,' I thought; and then I felt a little ashamed," he said. "How come? I'm doing all the right things, it happened and then you realize it's luck... it happens."

"Living the right life just doesn't mean eating right and exercising; it also means getting screened, and the beauty of colonoscopy, it not only diagnoses the problem, it cures the problem," Dr. Oz added.

E-mail gcampos@wfaa.com