Mehmet Oz was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Suna and Mustafa Öz, who had emigrated from Konya Province, Turkey. Mustafa Öz was born in Bozkır, a small town in central Turkey. Mustafa Öz earned scholarships that allowed him to emigrate to the United States as a medical resident in 1955. Suna Öz (née Atabay), who comes from a wealthy İstanbul family, is the daughter of a pharmacist with Shapsug descent on her mother's side. He has two sisters, Seval Oz and Nazlim Oz.
Oz has been a professor at the Department of Surgery at Columbia University since 2001. He directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. His research interests include heart replacement surgery, minimally invasive cardiac surgery, and health care policy. With his collaborators, he has authored over 400 research papers, book chapters and medical books and has received several patents.
Oz is the founder and chairman of HealthCorps, a non-profit organization that pays a small stipend to recent college graduates to spend two years in high schools mentoring students about health, nutrition, and fitness.
In 2009, Oz joined Jeffrey T. Arnold (founder of WebMD) as co-founder of Sharecare, Inc., providing an interactive QA platform that allows industry experts to answer health-related questions.
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."
Television, radio and movies
Oz appeared as a health expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show for five seasons. On the show, he addressed issues like Type 2 diabetes and promoted resveratrol supplements, which he stated were anti-aging. His Transplant! television series won both a Freddie and a Silver Telly award. He has appeared on Good Morning America, the Today show, Larry King Live and The View, as well as guest-hosting the Charlie Rose show. In addition, he served as medical director of Denzel Washington’s John Q. He currently hosts The Dr. Oz Show on television and a talk show on Sirius XM Radio. 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.
Time magazine ranked Oz at 44th on its list of the "100 Most Influential People in 2008" and Esquire magazine placed him on its list of the "75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century". He was called a Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum and one of "The Harvard 100 Most Influential Alumni" by 02138 magazine. He won the Gross Surgical Research Scholarship. He was listed in "Doctors of the Year" by Hippocrates magazine and in "Healers of the Millennium" by Healthy Living magazine. Oz is annually listed in the Castle Connolly Guide of the top United States doctors, as well as other ranking groups noted below.
2011 Most Trusted Voice in Daytime Television,
2011 James Randi Educational Foundation Media Pigasus Award, which the foundation states is for promoting "nonsense". The foundation complained about Oz's support of energy medicine, faith healing and psychic mediums, among other controversial practices. Oz is the first person to receive a Pigasus Award two years in a row.
2011 The Independent Investigations Group IIG awarded The Truly Terrible Television award to Oz and Oprah Winfrey "for extraordinary contributions to America's scientific illiteracy and pervasive fear mongering."
Oz grew up in a mixed Muslim environment where his father's family were conservatives who believed in the integration of Islam and government, while his mother's family were more secular Muslims. He has been influenced by the mysticism of Sufi Muslims, as well as the ideas of Emanuel Swedenborg, the Swedish scientist, philosopher, and Christian theologian. He wrote in Spirituality and Health Magazine in 2010 that "As I came into contact with Swedenborg's many writings, I began to understand Swedenborg's profound insights and how they applied directly to my life". He mentions Swedenborg's ideas that marriage lasts to eternity, everyone has a purpose in this world, God is love, and Swedenborg's answers to "Why do bad things happen?".
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."
In August 2010, Oz was diagnosed with a pre-cancerous polyp in the colon during a routine colonoscopy which was performed as part of his show. Oz said that the procedure likely saved his life.
^Bruni, Frank. "Dr. Does-It-All", The New York Times, April 16, 2010. Accessed 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."
^Married on July 29, 1985 in Bryn Athyn, PA – New Church Life, 1985, p. 430.