Meet Dr. Oz at Northlake, Cumberland malls Sunday, Feb. 25 for CPR training

Posted Monday, February 19, 2018 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz will lead CPR training sessions this Sunday in Atlanta.

He will be at Northlake Mall from 1 to 2:15 p.m. and Cumberland Mall from 2:45 p.m. to 4 p.m. with help from Emory University medical students and the American Heart Association.  (The events will take place from noon to 5 p.m. in both locations.)

In an interview today, Oz said he is working to teach the Texas Two Step CPR method as a simpler way to save a person in cardiac arrest that doesn't involve breathing air into their mouths.

Instead, it streamlines the process. Instead, call 911, then push hard and fast in the center of the person's chest until help arrives.

"It's not inferior," Oz said. "It's arguably better. It's paradoxical but we don't necessarily need new oxygen in these situations. We can circulate existing oxygen through your system by pumping the heart. This will keep blood moving and minimize blood clots. It buys you time."

Indeed, he believes continuous chest pumping is better than stopping periodically to push air into a victim's lungs.

In his ninth season with his own show (seen locally at 3 p.m. weekdays on WSB-TV), Oz said he decided to shake things up by focusing on crime two days a week. He might bring in relatives of a victim or the daughter of a serial killer. He'll dig into medical forensics and psychiatric issues. He'll analyze crime scenes.

He said he stays in close touch with Oprah Winfrey, who put him on the map in the 2000's  as a guest on her talk show and got him his own show in 2009. Last year, she helped talk him through the idea of focusing on crime Tuesdays and Thursdays. "She's usually pretty good at getting you to say what you feel in your heart," he said. "She reinvented her show over time. I realized crime was an under-served area [in terms of daily talk shows.] She helped me kick the tires, to talk through why this was better than what we were already doing."

Oz comes into Atlanta every so often to check in on locally-based Sharecare, a booming eight-year-old health and wellness company that has grown from 25 employees to more than 2,600, with $350 million in annual revenue. It's a home where individuals can track their medical records, seek answers to medical questions and find medical professionals. It works with hundreds of hospitals, insurance companies, government agencies and non-profit organizations. Oz co-founded the company with CEO Jeff Arnold, who founded WebMD in the 1990s.

Oz believes the effort by Jeff Bezos, J.P. Morgan and Warren Buffett to improve healthcare was a validation of the Sharecare model using digital technology and artificial intelligence. He said Wal-Mart jumped on board to work more closely with Sharecare after the Bezos/Buffett announcement.

Oz works hard to ensure his staff of 100 stays healthy and doesn't get burned out. He shoots two episodes a day, three days a week, banking an extra episode so staff can take every fifth week off.

As a result, he said annual turnover is less than 10 percent, with many of his senior staff still there after nearly a decade. Talented mid-level staff have moved on to help run other syndicated talk shows, he said. It's a template he learned from Columbia University, where you seed your culture by sending smart surgeons off to other schools. He also picked up advice from Simon Cowell, of all people.

"He said, 'Don't let the people who are dying to protect you die while protecting you,' '" he said. If people are overworking themselves, he said, their creativity and well being suffers. "You should work hard, but you have to work smart, too," he said.

Oz will be back in March to Atlanta to tape some comedy and motivational videos for the Atlanta Hawks. Sharecare and the Hawks recently created a partnership to help their fans pay more attention to health.

A Sharecare logo patch is on the Hawks' uniforms. 

RELATED: AJC editor Kevin Riley recently showed up on Dr. Oz to discuss the opioid crisis. 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.