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Mehmet Oz to speak at Central Baptist Hospital anniversary

Dr. Mehmet Oz, television’s wizard of medicine and health, will be in Lexington Friday to help Central Baptist Hospital celebrate its 55th anniversary. And it’s likely that some of the things he’ll talk about could end up as topics on his new TV program, The Dr. Oz Show, which has its debut Thursday.

“One of the main reasons I do these talks is that we can get out in the community and learn what people are thinking about their bodies and their health,” Oz said in a recent phone interview. “We take those ideas back and actually use them in shows that we’re crafting. So, I find the talks very useful from a selfish perspective.”

Oz added that he also hopes to provide guests plenty of useful health information.

“If the residents of Lexington hear my voice and what I’m saying, they can take that message to the people that are dear to them, and they will change lives,” he said.

Oz is a noted cardiothoracic surgeon and professor and vice chairman of surgery at Columbia University, as well as director of the cardiovascular institute at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

But he’s probably most widely known as a regular on The Oprah Winfrey Show for the past five years, and as a commentator and best-selling author on health and wellness issues. Oz recently made his last appearance on Oprah and is concentrating on his own syndicated show.

Whether in books or on television, Oz is a strong advocate for people taking charge of their own health and wellness and using good nutrition and non-traditional medicines as avenues to good health and a long life.

“The smart patient movement is something I’ll talk about,” Oz said. “It’s important, because if you’re a smart patient, you not only save your own life, but you make things better for everybody else.”

Simply getting a second opinion on your doctor’s ­recommendation can make a difference, Oz says.

“Only about 10 percent of Americans get second opinions,” he noted. “One-third of the time, getting a second opinion will change your diagnosis or therapy. That’s huge. So, why wouldn’t everybody do it?

“If you get a second opinion, and your doctor learns from it, he will take care of every other patient he sees with the extra knowledge you just gave him. Every other patient benefits because you were willing to stand up.”

Oz admits that many of his ideas didn’t come from his traditional medical training.

“My wife’s family gets a lot of the credit,” he said. “They lived on a farm outside Philadelphia, and they had deep beliefs about the role they had to play in their own wellness.”

Oz said his mother-in-law brought up her six children as vegetarians and also raised herbs that she used medicinally to help keep the family healthy. He ultimately adopted many of those himself.