Dr. Oz: Life Changes That Matter



Want to trade places? is a question that tends to make me smile.

That’s because it reminds me of an extraordinary experience I had many years ago with Dr. Oz.

This was long before everyone knew Dr. Oz from his series of best-selling books and his award-winning television show that’s now at 1,500 episodes and counting.

Back in 2004, when Dr. Oz was principally a heart surgeon, he was at a house party where he met Eric Ripert, the chef at one of the world’s greatest restaurants -- Le Bernardin.

They struck up a conversation that led to some humor.

“When somebody is not good in my profession,” Dr. Oz told Eric, “he’s called a butcher.”

“In mine,” Eric responded, “he’s called a shoemaker.”

The conversation ultimately gave birth to the idea of trading places.

Eric Ripert.jpeg

Dr. Oz would observe work in the kitchen of the four-star restaurant and then step into Eric’s shoes.


And Eric would observe heart surgery and then – no, he wouldn’t take a scalpel to anybody. He’d learn to cut and stitch like a surgeon and operate on a pig’s heart.

The idea was for the two of them to study excellence and see where their skills overlapped.

I was invited to join and write about the experience for Esquire Magazine.

As you can hear in the podcast, there are many memories of the experience that stick with me – principally the saving of a man’s life.

But what strikes me now is how practical that question has become: Want to trade places?

Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is a great way to think about reinventing yourself -- because it can show you that you are capable of much more than you think.

I never imagined myself behind a microphone until I helped Larry King write his autobiography and started to have breakfast with him every day. Now, here I am, hosting a podcast.

Trade places for a short time with somebody you respect, and see what might happen to your life.

Kevin HekmatComment