Famous physicians

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Here's a sampling of top celebrity doctors — whether authors, journalists, TV show hosts or all of the above — who are influencing what we eat, how we live and whom we love.


Claim to fame: Oz's good looks, plain talk and seemingly simple paths to self-improvement won over audiences on " The Oprah Winfrey Show," where he first appeared in 2004. He continues to make appearances on that show and other TV programs, and last fall he launched "The Dr. Oz Show."

A practicing cardiac surgeon, he writes a weekly syndicated health advice column with his friend Dr. Michael Roizen plus frequent articles for Esquire, Newsweek and O Magazine. Named one of Time's most influential people in 2008, he churns out a steady stream of bestselling books. He also directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complimentary Medicine Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

As an advisor and spokesman for RealAge.com, Oz has been criticized for soliciting visitors to the site to fill out detailed health questionnaires to discover their "real age," then turning that information over to pharmaceutical companies, which then target-market drugs to these individuals. Others say he prefers sensationalism to science and that his claims for achieving extreme longevity are unproved and overblown.

Credentials: The cardiothoracic surgeon and professor of surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons received his bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1982 and a joint medical degree and MBA from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Wharton Business School in 1986. He is board certified in both general and cardiothoracic surgery. He's written or co-written with Roizen (see below) several bestselling books.

Quote: "I'm all about fixing things. You have a problem. I want to fix the problem."


Claim to fame: Bestselling author, TV regular, and close friend and colleague of Mehmet Oz, Roizen practices anesthesiology and internal medicine at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. There he also runs a celebrated wellness center, where he helps patients kick unhealthy habits.

His RealAge book series includes "RealAge: Are You as Young as You Can Be?"which was a No. 1 seller in five countries. He has also co-authored several bestselling books with Oz, including the "You" series: "You: The Owner's Manual," "You: On a Diet," "You: Staying Young." A frequent TV guest, he has delivered his prescriptions for wellness, youth, weight loss and longevity many times on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Today," "20/20," CNN, CBS, "The View" and "Good Morning America." He also co-writes a syndicated newspaper health column.

While he doesn't have the same telegenic appeal as Oz, his attractive promises attract audiences.

Some of his claims have been called, at a minimum, overblown. Among them: that people can live to age 160 with the right combination of diet and exercise, that people who drop bad habits now will be as healthy within three years as if they'd never had the habits and that we choose whether specific genes are activated.

Credentials: Chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic, Roizen is also co-founder of RealAge.com, and chairman of the company's scientific advisory board. He earned his bachelor's degree from Williams College in 1967, with a double major in chemistry and economics, and his medical degree from UC San Francisco School of Medicine. He is board certified in both internal medicine and anesthesiology and is past chairman of the Food and Drug Administration's advisory committee.

Quote: "You get a do over."


Claim to fame: The NBC News chief medical editor reports for "Today," MSNBC, "NBC Nightly News" and "Dateline." Last year she started her own MSNBC show, "Dr. Nancy," which ended in December after six months. Snyderman, a cancer surgeon, is known to audiences for unpacking complex medical findings and making them understandable. Viewers like her smart-girl-next-door demeanor and the way she sifts through findings to help people decide whether to take hormones, drink red wine or have a mammogram, for example.

She is the author of several books, including "Diet Myths That Keep Us Fat," "Medical Myths That Can Kill You" and "Dr. Nancy Snyderman's Guide to Good Health for Women Over Forty," and she also writes a monthly column for Good Housekeeping.

Offended viewers as well as some members of the medical community say she lost her objectivity in her overzealous support of vaccines.

Credentials: Before joining NBC in 2006, Snyderman worked for ABC, where she contributed to "20/20," "Primetime," and "Good Morning America." She received her bachelor's degree in microbiology from Indiana University and her medical degree from the University of Nebraska in 1977. She's a surgeon on staff at the University of Pennsylvania who is board certified in otolaryngology and who specializes in head and neck surgery.