Oz began his medical career with a residency at the Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, then affiliated with Columbia University, in 1986 after being hired by Eric Rose. During his residency, Oz earned the Blakemore research award. In April 1995, Oz and his colleague Jerry Whitworth founded the Cardiac Complementary Care Center to provide various types of alternative medicine to heart disease patients. The publicity of Oz's work created tension with hospital administration, who expressed alarm at Oz's use of therapeutic touch, which he dropped in response to their objections.
In 1996, Oz and Rose received media publicity following their work on a successful heart transplant for Frank Torre, brother of New York Yankees manager Joe Torre, during the 1996 World Series, which the Yankees won. Rose later remarked that while he did not enjoy the media attention, Oz "loved it". Meanwhile, Oz and Whitworth's professional relationship grew strained due to the attention Oz was receiving; Whitworth later recounted in an interview with Vox that he asked Oz to "stop the media circus". In 2000, Whitworth departed the Cardiac Complementary Care Center, which Oz reopened that same year as the Cardiovascular Institute and Integrative Medicine Program at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where he served as director.
In 2003, Oz was scheduled to present medical research regarding heart bypass surgery and heart-lung machines to the yearly conference of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, but the presentation was withdrawn and for two years he was banned from further presentations to the association or publishing work in the association's medical journal. Association officials said that the ban was not due to academic dishonesty, but in part due to Oz's team having changed the methodology of the study from what was agreed upon for presentation. Oz's 2022 political campaign said that the incident was due to Oz's team having extended "the scope of the work with more patients". Anonymous sources cited by The Washington Post said that another reason for the rejection was due to having data from too few test subjects to reach a strong conclusion.
In 2010, Oz joined Jeff Arnold as co-founder of Sharecare, Inc. In 2015, a group of 10 physicians demanded Columbia remove Oz from the faculty for his alleged "disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine". Columbia defended Oz and dismissed calls for his termination, saying that they are "committed to the principle of academic freedom and to upholding faculty members' freedom of expression". Oz responded to the call, saying "I bring the public information that will help them on their path to be their best selves" and that his show provides "multiple points of view, including mine, which is offered without conflict of interest."
Oz at the 2016 Voice Awards
Oz appeared as a health expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show for five seasons. In 2009, Winfrey offered to produce a syndicated series hosted by him through her company, Harpo Productions.The Dr. Oz Show debuted on September 14, 2009, distributed by Sony Pictures Television.
In January 2011, Oz premiered as part of a weekly show on OWN called "Oprah's Allstars". In each episode, he, Suze Orman, and Dr. Phil answer various questions about life, health and finance. In the 2010s he also did a health segment on 1010 WINS titled "Your Daily Dose".
On October 23, 2014, Surgeon Oz, showing Oz's career as a surgeon, debuted on OWN.
In September 2016, during his presidential campaign, Donald Trump appeared on The Dr. Oz Show. In the lead-up to the show's taping, Oz promoted Trump's appearance with a claim that Oz would assess medical records submitted to the show by Trump and reveal his assessment on the show.CNN speculated that Trump's appearance aimed to appeal to The Dr. Oz Show's large female viewership. Oz would later be appointed to the President's Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition in 2018 during Trump's administration.
Beginning on March 22, 2021, Oz guest-hosted the trivia television game show Jeopardy! for two weeks. The decision to make him a guest host was met with criticism from Jeopardy! fans and former contestants.
The Dr. Oz Show aired its final episode on January 14, 2022, after over a decade on the air.
Oz was heavily criticized by Senator Claire McCaskill in a hearing on consumer fraud in diet product advertising.
Oz's image and quotes have been exploited by many weight loss product scammers. While he himself has not been found to be involved in these scams, he has made statements that were exploited by scammers. During a 2014 Senate hearing on consumer protection, Senator Claire McCaskill said that "the scientific community is almost monolithic against you" for airing segments on weight loss products that are later cited in advertisements, concluding that 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." He has been a spokesman and advisor for the website RealAge.com, which The New York Times has criticized for its pharmaceutical marketing practices.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Oz's television appearances influenced Trump's decision-making, and he became an informal advisor to the Trump administration. Oz had promoted the use of hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug, as a cure for COVID-19 on more than 25 Fox News broadcasts in March and April 2020. Trump claimed to be taking the drug in May 2020. In June 2020, the Food and Drug Administration revoked emergency use authorization of hydroxychloroquine, saying that it was "no longer reasonable to believe" that the drug was effective against COVID-19 or that its benefits outweighed "known and potential risks". Oz also owns at least $630,000 of stock in two companies that manufacture or distribute hydroxychloroquine, Thermo Fisher and McKesson Corporation.
In April 2020, Oz appeared on Fox News with Sean Hannity and said that reopening schools in the United States might be worth the increased number of deaths it would cause. Referencing an article published in the medical journal The Lancet, Oz said, "I just saw a nice piece in The Lancet [medical journal] arguing that the opening of schools may only cost us 2–3% in terms of total mortality." Oz's comments provoked a backlash online, and he apologized, saying he had misspoken and that his goal was "to get our children safely back to school."
On April 9, 2022, Oz's campaign was endorsed by former president Donald Trump. Oz's ties to Turkey, including his dual citizenship, were criticized by his Republican primary opponents. Oz called these issues a "distraction" and said that he would renounce his Turkish citizenship if elected, while his campaign called the attacks "pathetic and xenophobic". Senate Republicans, including Lindsey Graham and Kevin Cramer, defended Oz over the issue.
In May 2022, Columbia University cut ties with Oz and removed his presence from their website. The Republican primary was held on May 17. A day after the election, Oz narrowly led his main opponent David McCormick by a difference of just 0.1% of the vote, triggering a mandatory statewide recount. When the election was still too close to call and the mail-in ballots had not yet been counted, Trump urged Oz to declare victory. On May 27, before the recount started, Oz prematurely declared victory, calling himself the presumptive nominee and opposing counting certain mailed ballots. On June 3, Oz became the Republican nominee after McCormick conceded that the recount would not make up the deficit in votes. Oz was subsequently endorsed by three out of four major Republican candidates from the primary, including McCormick, with only Kathy Barnette initially declining to endorse him. Barnette later stated that she would vote for Oz, while still declining to explicitly endorse him.
During the race, Oz's opponents accused him of carpetbagging, as he did not live in Pennsylvania prior to 2020. Oz denied these accusations, noting that he owns a home within the state. A representative of Oz's campaign also pushed back on the claims, stating "Dr. Oz lives in Pennsylvania, votes in Pennsylvania, and has his medical license in Pennsylvania. Dr. Oz grew up in the Greater Philadelphia region, less than 5 miles from the PA border. He went to school in Pennsylvania, met his wife and got married in Pennsylvania, and 2 of his children were born in Pennsylvania. He currently resides in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, where his wife's family has lived for a hundred years."
On August 15, a campaign video from April of Oz shopping in a grocery store went viral. In the video, Oz says that he is shopping for produce to make crudités, and says that the perceived high prices are the fault of President Joe Biden. The video was widely ridiculed on social media and became the subject of media coverage. It was filmed at a Redner's Warehouse market, which Oz mistakenly identifies as a "Wegner's". Oz responded to criticism over the video, noting that when creating it, "I was exhausted. When you're campaigning 18 hours a day, I've gotten my kids' names wrong, as well. I don't think that's a measure of someone's ability to lead the commonwealth." Had he been elected, Oz would have been the first Muslim to serve in the U.S. Senate, the first Muslim to serve in the United States Congress as a Republican, and one of the wealthiest members of Congress.
Oz's rival candidate John Fetterman suffered a stroke in May 2022 and needed time during the campaign to recover. In late August 2022, the Oz campaign released a list of mock debate concessions it would be willing to make, saying they would "pay for any additional medical personnel [Fetterman] might need to have on standby", that Oz "promises not to intentionally hurt John's feelings", and that "at any point, John Fetterman can raise his hand and say, 'Bathroom break!'". The next day, Fetterman announced that due to his recovery, he would "not be participating in a debate the first week of September"; in response, the Oz campaign said in a statement that "if John Fetterman had ever eaten a vegetable in his life, then maybe he wouldn't have had a major stroke and wouldn't be in the position of having to lie about it constantly", adding that Fetterman's statement was "whiny". Fetterman replied, "Today's statement from Dr. Oz's team made it abundantly clear that they think it is funny to mock a stroke survivor. I chose not to participate in this farce. My recovery may be a joke to Dr. Oz and his team, but it's real for me."
In September 2022, Oz called on Fetterman to participate in a debate against him before early voting begins in Pennsylvania on September 19. Fetterman agreed to debate Oz in "the middle to end of October" but would not commit to an exact date or to a debate in September. Fetterman's approach to the debate was criticized by Oz and Senator Pat Toomey. On September 15, Oz and Fetterman agreed to a single debate, which was held on October 25.
Oz ultimately lost to Fetterman in the Senate election, conceding defeat on November 9, 2022, and further urging "everyone to put down their partisan swords and focus on getting the job done".
Oz with First Lady Michelle Obama in 2012 to promote her Let's Move! initiative. He has praised Obama for her focus on health and nutrition policies.
Making his 2022 Senate campaign announcement in late 2021, Oz identified himself as a "conservative Republican". In 2022, after his primary win, Oz described himself as "a moderate leader, but not passive."
In 2022, Oz announced that he supported overturning the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision and was against abortion, except for when the mother's life is in danger or in cases of rape or incest. In June 2022, he said he was "relieved" by the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. During a telephone town hall in May 2022, Oz said: "I do believe life starts at conception, and I've said that multiple times.... If life starts at conception, why do you care what stage our hearts starts beating at? It's, you know, it's still murder."
Prior to 2019, Oz had supported abortion rights, although he said that he disliked abortion on "a personal level". He said that when he was in medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, he saw the results of "traumatic... coat hanger events" in which women had been "harmed for life" before Roe. He also noted at the time that he was opposed to six-week abortion bans.
In October 2022, Oz said that "women, doctors, local political leaders" should put "ideas forward so states can decide for themselves" how to regulate abortions, but also clarified that "I don't want the federal government involved with that, at all".
In March 2020, Oz suggested that hydroxychloroquine, a drug typically used to treat rheumatological conditions and as an anti-malarial, could be used to treat COVID-19 as well. He called for the reopening of schools in April of the same year. Oz has however promoted the efficacy of wearing masks and of getting vaccinated against the virus.
He initially praised Anthony Fauci as a "pro" and lauded his role in combating the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Upon running for the Senate, however, Oz changed his tone on Fauci and referred to him as a "tyrant". Oz said in 2022 when running for the Senate that "it's time we get back to normal".
In 2017, Oz co-authored an article that highlighted the threats of climate change including extreme heat, wildfires and floods. When running for the Senate, he downplayed the risk that carbon dioxide poses when contributing to the role of the greenhouse effect in contributing to climate change. In a March 2022 campaign event while running for the U.S. Senate, Oz said "The ideology that carbon is bad – which itself is a lie. Carbon dioxide, my friends, [is] 0.04% of our air. That’s not the problem"—overlooking the fact that carbon dioxide levels are higher than they have been in at least 3 million years, and that 0.04% of the atmosphere constitutes billions of tons of heat-trapping gas.
In 2022, Oz said that he supports the process of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") and believes that natural gas can help the United States become energy independent and reduce gasoline prices. In keeping with this view, he says he supports reducing environmental regulations on fracking. However, in 2014, Oz had called for more regulations on fracking, including halting the practice until the environmental impact had been researched more, because of the possible connection between fracking and the pollution of air and waterways.
Oz has ties to Turkey’s authoritarian Justice and Development Party, ties that include foreign agents and proxies. Oz was accused of operating a secret lobby in the U.S. and spying on American citizens.
In 2013, Oz had celebrated a partnership with Neusoft Xikang, the health technology subsidiary of Chinese tech company Neusoft, serving as their chief health officer in the process. Neusoft CEO Liu Jiren said that his company's partnership with Oz "marks a perfect combination of leading health management methodologies and innovative technology platform."
Since declaring his senate campaign, though, Oz has taken a "tough on China" stance similar to the Trump wing of the Republican Party. A key part of his campaign during the primaries was attacking rival David McCormick's business ties to mainland China.
In 2022, Oz said that Israel is "an ally and a vibrant democracy in the world's most troubled region" and that he opposes the BDS Movement, supports keeping the US Embassy in Jerusalem and supports continued military aid to Israel. Oz has long been a supporter of Israel and visited the country in 2013. When speaking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an interview with The Forward, Oz said "It's not black and white. The ultimate solution will be driven by financial means. Peace is an imperative for that. When people love their children so much, they'll do whatever it takes to make their future brighter."
Oz has said that he is a gun owner and that he supports the constitutional right to bear arms under the Second Amendment. At a campaign event in February 2022, Oz said that he supports red flag-style laws for those expressing dangerous behavior, but opposes a national red flag law registry. Previously, in 2017, Oz had expressed support for waiting periods before someone can acquire a gun, and in 2019 he co-wrote a column that called for the United States to ban assault rifles altogether.
In 2022, Oz said that he would vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act if he were elected to the Senate, and backed Medicare Advantage Plus.
By contrast, in 2009, Oz said "It should be mandatory that everybody in America have healthcare coverage. If you can't afford it, we have to give it to you..." And in 2010, Oz supported a government-backed healthcare system and was featured in an advertisement that promoted The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Oz has said that the healthcare systems that he thinks work the best are Germany and Switzerland, which are both universal healthcare systems.
Regarding those without healthcare coverage, Oz said they "don't have a right to health, but they have a right to access, to get that health."
In 2010, Oz hosted and offered support to transgender youth and their families on his television show. In 2012, after facing criticism for hosting a guest who supported pseudoscientific reparative or conversion therapy on his show, he announced that he is opposed to conversion therapy and called conversion therapy "dangerous". Oz also had guests from GLAAD on his show who spoke out against conversion therapy.
As a Senate candidate, Oz endorsed enacting federal protections of same-sex marriage. In April 2022, Oz supported legislation to prohibit transgender people from participating in sports that are divided by gender-based categories rather than sex-based categories. In May 2022, he said that a transgender youth movement is based on "false science", while not supporting a ban on hormone blockers, adding that the doctor and family should decide, rather than politicians.
While running for the Senate in 2022, Oz said he opposes the legalization of recreational cannabis, but was not against it for medical purposes. In 2014, Oz said on Larry King Live "marijuana is hugely beneficial when used correctly for medicinal purposes" and in 2017 criticized the federal government for classifying marijuana as a Schedule I drug, which prevents more scientific research on marijuana. In an interview with NBC News, Oz expressed support for President Joe Biden's effort to pardon those convicted of simple marijuana possession at the federal level.
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.
In late 2020, Oz moved to Pennsylvania and changed his voter registration to his in-laws' home in Bryn Athyn, where he says he pays market price rent. He has since voted twice in Pennsylvania, acquired a Pennsylvanian driver's license, and a Pennsylvania concealed carry permit.
Oz is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Turkey. He has said that he maintains his Turkish citizenship to care for his ailing mother with Alzheimer's, but Oz expressed he would renounce it before being sworn in if he was ultimately elected to the Senate. There is no U.S. law which forbids members of Congress from being dual citizens.
Oz married his wife, Lisa Oz, an author and television personality, in 1985. The two met in Philadelphia through their fathers, while Oz was attending the University of Pennsylvania. According to Oz, he proposed to her on a city street corner, using a tab from a discarded soda can as a makeshift ring. The couple have four children together, including eldest daughter Daphne, who is also an author and television host. Oz and his wife founded HealthCorps, a non-profit organization for health education and peer mentoring.
In November 2020, Oz was sued by his sister Nazlim Öz. Nazlim alleged that he was withholding her rental income from apartments owned by their late father Mustafa Öz. Oz said that he was forced to hold payments from the apartments in escrow, as their mother and other relatives were suing Nazlim in Turkish probate court over the distribution of Mustafa Öz's estate.
A 2014 study published in the British Medical Journal found that medical talk shows such as The Dr. Oz Show and The Doctors often lack adequate information on the specific benefits or evidence of their claims. Forty episodes of each program from early 2013 were evaluated, determining that evidence supported 46 percent, contradicted 15 percent, and was not found for 39 percent of the recommendations on The Dr Oz Show. Unfounded claims included saying apple juice had unsafe levels of arsenic and cell phones could cause breast cancer.
Eight of Oz's books have been New York Times bestsellers; seven were written with Michael F. Roizen. 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. Oz and the Hearst Corporation launched the bi-monthly magazine Dr. Oz The Good Life on February 4, 2014.
Healing from the Heart: A Leading Surgeon Combines Eastern and Western Traditions to Create the Medicine of the Future, by Mehmet Oz, Ron Arias, Dean Ornish, 1999, ISBN0452279550.
Complementary and Alternative Cardiovascular Medicine: Clinical Handbook, by Richard A. Stein (Editor), Mehmet, M.D. Oz (Editor), 2004, ISBN1588291863.
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, ISBN0060765313.
YOU: On a Diet: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management, by Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz, 2006, ISBN0743292545.
YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment, by Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz, 2006, ISBN0743293010.
YOU: Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty, by Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz, 2007, ISBN0743292561.
YOU: Being Beautiful: The Owner's Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty, by Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz, 2008, ISBN1416572341.
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, ISBN1617374008.
Oz, Mehmet (2017). Food Can Fix It: The Superfood Switch to Fight Fat, Defy Aging, and Eat Your Way Healthy. New York. ISBN978-1501158155.
^Bruni, Frank (April 16, 2010). "Dr. Does-It-All". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 10, 2017. 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.