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The Story of Dr. Mehmet Oz (TV’s Dr. Oz) and Functional Medicine

Dr. Oz, is a Turkish American television personality, cardiothoracic surgeon, and Columbia University professor. Here we look at his role in functional medicine

The rise of Dr. Mehmet Oz changed the way Americans view functional medicine. Though he has his fair share of critics, Dr. Oz presents a path to wellness worth exploring.

The field of functional medicine is constantly expanding to be more inclusive of medical information that supports that whole body. To understand the role of Dr. Oz in functional medicine, it is important to know how his story began.

Who is Dr. Mehmet Oz?

Mehmet Cengiz Oz was born to Turkish parents in Cleveland, Ohio. He was raised in the U.S. but spent much of his childhood traveling to Turkey with his parents.

Oz later received an MBA from The Wharton School as well as an MD from the University of Pennsylvania. These two ivy league degrees plus early exposure to other cultures as a child paved the way to his expanded view of medical treatments.

He became an accomplished cardiac surgeon until later releasing a book entitled Healing from the Heart: A Leading Surgeon Combines Eastern and Western Traditions to Create the Medicine of the Future.

Dr. Oz didn't rise to celebrity status, however, until he appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show where he earned the title "American's Doctor."

Doors began to open for Dr. Oz that revealed a commitment to functional medicine in many forms. Oprah offered to partner with him as co-producer on a new television series called The Dr. Oz Show.

The show debuted to record ratings and has since won three Emmy awards.

Dr. Oz Controversy

The optimism of Dr. Oz has earned him many critics. A number of weight loss products on his show landed him a visit with the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection.

He stuck to his support of these products even when facing major consequences. Dr. Oz maintains that his goal is to promote positive wellbeing over a more traditional approach to medical ethics.

His stance left medical professionals reeling. With a hit show on daytime TV, doctors argue that their patients are influenced by unproven medical claims that can be harmful.

Still, comparing the beliefs of Dr. Oz with a doctor working in a conventional practice is like comparing two people with two different religious beliefs.

Dr. Oz has a worldview unlike anything taught in traditional medicine. That said, he's still a licensed medical practitioner, therefore he is subject to ethical guidelines and will continue to be judged harshly by his peers.

The Rise of Functional Medicine

Dr. Oz is an award-winning doctor who uses his celebrity to promote the field of functional medicine. Through doctor Oz's fame, small function medicine practices can thrive.

Patients who might not have ever heard of the field, flock to find ways to transform their lifestyle to a more holistic wellness approach. Dr. Oz covers a wide range of topics on his show revealing that functional medicine applies to all areas of medicine.

With Dr. Oz, medicine is not just about treatment but about how your life operates as a whole. Your wellness is a journey, not a prescription.

Conventional medicine requires that patients list symptoms that send their doctor on a scavenger hunt in order to name the illness. The outcome is a drug that quiets the symptoms until they no longer exist.

Functional medicine doctors seek ways to bring balance back to the body. The symptoms are important but they aren't where the work begins.

Treating the Gut

Recent research consistently proves the connection between your gut and your overall health. The nerve endings in your gut communicate with the brain influencing your thoughts and emotions.

Slow digestion can drain energy leaving you sluggish throughout the workday. Gut health is a major focal point of functional medicine.

How your body responds to what you eat can make you healthier or make you ill.

Poor gut health is the root cause of major illnesses like depression, diabetes, and colon cancer. Studies also link gut health to autism and arthritis.

There are more bacteria in the gut than cells. The balance of bacteria helps to rid your body of toxins and move digestion along at a healthy pace.

A Visit to the Functional Medicine Doctor

Functional medicine doctors come from a range of backgrounds. Like Dr. Oz, they might be a licensed healthcare professional.

Chiropractors registered dieticians, and pharmacists can focus their careers on functional medicine after becoming certified. The training program helps level the playing field after a career focused on conventional medicine.

When you visit a functional medicine doctor, expect extensive testing. Doctors need a complete look at your biochemistry in order to detect chronic disease.

Your visit will be much longer than during a conventional visit to the doctor. Functional medicine doctors take time to understand your medical history so that they can make the best recommendations.

The diagnosis of the issue is the first step during your visit. Expect doctors to make further recommendations on lifestyle changes.

For example, the elimination of an allergen discovered during testing might be the doctor's first set of instructions. The results for this patient would be instant unless there's further investigation needed.

A New Era of Healthcare

The popularity of Dr. Mehmet Oz creates many opportunities for functional medicine doctors. Critics aside, Dr. Oz brings a new worldview that is motivating for healthcare practitioners looking to go beyond conventional medicine.

Dr. Oz revealed to America, one episode at a time, that there's more than one path to healing. For more information on functional medicine, check our blog for updates.