When I met Dr. Oz this week at a luncheon in Indianapolis, I was expecting to get useful health advice, and he did not disappoint. However, I wasn’t expecting to hear how much his marriage has played into his success.
“My wife, Lisa, is not only the woman of my dreams, she’s also the woman who made my dreams come true,” said Dr. Oz.
He credits Lisa with hearing his daily concerns about not having a strong enough impact on getting patients to change their behaviors. She not only listened, but encouraged him to think bigger and reach out to a TV audience to reach his goals and achieve his calling. The result was a TV show they started called Second Opinion. By luck or grace or hot pursuit, Oprah Winfrey agreed to be a guest on the show, beginning a long and fruitful friendship and partnership. The result is that Dr. Oz has been mentored to take over the open TV slot Oprah has vacated and reach even larger numbers with his message of healing and wellness.
Lisa’s ability to not just be a sounding board and a good listener, but to also nudge him in the right direction, propelled her husband to have one of the highest rated TV shows in America, along with web traffic double that of WebMD, and radio shows to boot. However, he still performs surgeries one day a week, educates students, provides direct patient care, and produces weekly TV programming.
Dr. Oz and Lisa still have time for their four children. He has traveled the world to learn about health issues and advantages in different countries, revealing many healing trends from the use of music to T’ai Chi and other balance-building skills. He also mentioned the need to address healthy relationships, particularly for young people, and says loneliness can be a killer.
More than the advice he shared, I was struck by the life he is modeling by prioritizing his marriage and family, by finding a way to achieve balance through healthy diet and exercise, by following his dreams and finding his passion, by working to solve the world’s biggest problems from obesity to disease to learning how to be a good listener.
While I don’t think we should be giving our spouse advice on a regular basis unless requested, I’m reminded to take my spouse’s concerns to heart and to make a better attempt to be honest and supportive. I’m also reminded to take responsibility for living a balanced and full life and to hold myself accountable for reaching my personal goals.
Read about Lisa’s perspective here in this article on Strategies to Keep Your Marriage Healthy. She says her husband extols the medical virtues of wedded bliss: “It can lower your stress level, reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, even improve cancer survival rates. All very well—but the operative word here is bliss. It’s been proven that it takes a happy marriage to reap the most from those benefits. And—as I can attest after nearly 25 years of marriage (some a bit bumpy)—that takes work.” So check out her tips.
Read more: What is one sentence your spouse might say about you if he or she were giving a speech today?