4 Thing I Learned at the Dr. Oz Show

Things I learned from the Dr. Oz show rotation

I  wrapped up my research rotation at the Dr. Oz show a few weeks ago. It was such a cool experience! I met so many cool people and learned a lot about medicine, health, and TV production in such a short period of time!  I loved it.

I talked about my role on the show in a previous post, so be sure to check that out!

Now that the rotation is over and I’m getting the chance to reflect over the experience, I’d like to share a few things I learned along the way.

How to better explain science and medicine to everyday people

In med school we call this speaking in “layman’s terms”. Many of the people who watch the Dr. Oz show don’t work in the medical field, so explaining topics with tons of scientific jargon can be difficult for every day viewers to understand. Whenever I met with producers to go through the scripts, I had to concisely explain all of my research in a simple, straightforward way that viewers could understand. This skill is important not only in TV, but also in medicine. It ensures that patients understand what is going and can make educated decisions about their healthcare. 


How to be cognizant of what the general public is talking about and stay up to date on the literature.

We sometimes got the opportunity to pitch story ideas. This required me to be aware of breaking health news or trending health fads like 5,000 calorie diets. Being aware of these new developments allowed us to capitalize off of what everyone was talking to produce shows that people wanted to watch. As a doctor it’ll be important for me to know what the general public’s health concerns are, so that I can make sure that I’m up to date on the literature to answer all their questions.


How to research and read journal articles

I read more journal articles in my 1 month at Oz than I did in my entire medical school career, haha. Every script had to be fact checked, and thorough research was required for the briefing notes we used to fill in Dr. Oz before the show. By the time I left the rotation I developed a better approach to reading journal articles and evaluating the literature. Reading so many articles also forced me to be a more active learner and learn from the research I did a long the way to answering my questions as opposed to only having tunnel vision for my particular answer.




Every opportunity has the capacity to be stressful

It’s no secret that med school can be stressful at times with all the studying and long hours in the hospital. I assumed that once I started my rotation at the show that I’d be under less stress than when I was at school. I soon found out, however, that even working in TV could be stressful at times. It was a different kind of stress. There were deadlines to meet, days were sometimes long,  and last minute changes were made frequently. I spent several hours a day looking at my computer screen reading countless journal articles, filling in spreadsheets, and pausing every now and then to schedule residency interviews.  My neck and back were on fire by the end of most days. My legs would fall asleep. My booty may even be a lil flatter from all the sitting. All of these challenges were unforeseen and I realized that not everything is easier than what I was going through in medical school. In times of frustration it’s useless to compare your journey to those around you and just assume that everyone is happier and less stressed. You don’t know that.  

Every opportunity can be stressful. The key is to focus on your journey and set aside time as often as you need to de-stress. In the office I would take laps around the cubicles, check social media, talk to other people and hide away in the bathroom to scroll through Pinterest.  At home I’d put my phone away, read a book, or watch a show. It’s up to each of us to make time to wind down and regain our peace of mind.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED the experience and would do it again in a heartbeat! It just helped me put some things in perspective and realize that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Judy Oranika