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Byline: Mariko Thompson Staff Writer

Dr. Mehmet Oz wants to send America to medical school. That's why the New York City heart surgeon - once named one of People magazine's ``Sexiest Men Alive'' - has taken the doctor's office into the television studio with ``Second Opinion With Dr. Oz.''

``The show is an effort to bottle medical school,'' Oz said. ``We've done a poor job as a society of embracing health as one of our areas of knowledge. Americans should become world experts on their bodies so that they'll be informed and use the health-care system more intelligently.''

The hourlong Discovery Channel show gives viewers an insider's look at medicine. Oz brings cameras into the operating room and illustrates his studio discussions with real human organs. For a segment on heart health, viewers watch surgeons perform transplant surgery on a patient. In the studio, Oz uses an actual heart to demonstrate the organ's anatomy and how it pumps blood through the body.

``I can explain it and show it to you,'' Oz said. ``Now, all of a sudden, it comes alive and makes sense.''

Each show focuses on one medical topic and often features a celebrity interview. Oz chats with talk-show host Oprah Winfrey about weight loss and Yankees manager Joe Torre about surviving prostate cancer.

``They imprint in the audience's mind that this is an important issue,'' Oz said. ``It's five minutes of brain candy to get you psyched up. They're celebrity pep talks.''

As a founding director of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center's Integrative Medicine Program, Oz gives guidance on the confusing and conflicting realm of supplements. He also stresses the importance of the mind-body connection in health.

``I'm on the front lines,'' he said. ``When you work with people day in and day out, you see how important the mind and attitude are to well- being.''

``Second Opinion With Dr. Oz'' airs 5 p.m. weekdays and 2 p.m. Saturdays on the Discovery Channel. Starting Nov. 11, the show will air weekly at 5 p.m. Mondays.

CANCER QUESTIONS: At a hefty 1,113 pages, ``Choices: Fourth Edition'' (HarperResource; $18.95), by Marion Morra and Eve Potts, is a comprehensive, informative guide to cancer treatment. The fourth edition reflects new developments in the cancer field. The book contains recommended Web sites for each type of cancer, listings of chemotherapy drugs and side effects, listings of major medical centers, controversies in medical treatment and reviews of complementary and alternative treatments. For the 9 million cancer survivors in the U.S., the book includes information on nutrition, exercise and follow-up treatment.

BABY BASICS: From conception to the first few sleepless weeks of parenthood, ``The Pregnancy Bible'' (Firefly; $29.95) walks moms- and dads-to-be through all aspects of having a baby. The guide provides detailed medical information and has two doctors serving as consulting editors - Dr. Joanne Stone and Dr. Keith Eddleman, both professors of maternal-fetal medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Illustrated with color photographs, the book covers genetics, nutrition, exercise, labor, recovery, breast feeding and more. Even such everyday concerns as changing a diaper and maternity wear are addressed.

YOGA FIX: Baron Baptiste creates an engaging workout with ``Power Yoga Level 1'' (Good Times Entertainment; $9.95 for VHS, $14.95 for DVD). The routine is streamlined and easy to follow. Unlike many yoga videos, this one doesn't overwhelm with speed or contortionist poses. Baptiste, owner of the Power Yoga Institute in Boston and Philadelphia, divides the 47-minute workout into three parts: sun salutations, standing poses and abdominal floor work. The video is available in most major retail outlets, including Wal-Mart, Target and on


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(1) no caption (Dr. Mehmet Oz)

(2) no caption (book: ``The Pregnancy Bible'')

(3) no caption (book: ``Choices: Fourth Edition'')

(4) no caption (book: ``Power Yoga Level I'')
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 27, 2003

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