5 Most Influential Doctors Alive Today

5-most-influential-doctors-alive-todayWhen we learn about influential doctors, we often think about those we learned about in history class. Clara Barton cared for soldiers during the Civil War, and Elizabeth Blackwell was the first female doctor in the United States. However, many doctors working today are influencing the world through more than their scalpels. The doctors below have changed the face of medicine through their work with society in addition to their experience in the medical field.

Dr. Robert Grant

A silently influential authority in HIV research for years, Dr. Robert Grant advocated for the testing of antiviral drugs to protect healthy people from contracting the disease. Before that, antiviral drugs were only being used to treat people who already had HIV. The medical community wasn’t keen on testing the medication on healthy people when even those with the disease didn’t always have access to the drugs. However, Grant’s campaign did lower the HIV rates among the population using them preventatively. This provided the basis for further research that studied other preventative treatments for HIV that have proven successful and can help stop the AIDS epidemic.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD

Known as America’s doctor, Mehmet Oz is a cardiothoracic surgeon who became famous as a television personality who appeared on TV shows like “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “Larry King Live.” Since 2009, he has provided health information to the public through his own television show. On “The Dr. Oz Show,” Oz and a medical team of researchers and physicians bring attention to a variety of medical conditions and healthy solutions. Although he has been criticized for supporting alternative forms of healing, Dr. Oz has brought public awareness to issues in the medical field that may otherwise have remained hidden or unknown.

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Dr. Mark Hyman

Dr. Mark Hyman is a physician and best-selling author of “The Blood Sugar Solution: 10-Day Detox Diet,” among several other titles. With a focus on integrative medical care, Hyman has changed the way the world looks at food. He suggests that using food as medicine can cure a variety of ailments, from irritable bowel syndrome to depression. When people eat food that’s bad for them, they become sick. Removing the bad food can eliminate symptoms of disease in many individuals. He touts the benefits of eating less sugar, alcohol and caffeine and filling the body with whole foods that aren’t processed.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

A neurosurgeon and media reporter, Sanjay Gupta was named one of Forbes’s 10 most influential celebrities in 2011. He is licensed to practice medicine in several states and has performed life-altering surgeries dealing with brain tumors, spinal cord abnormalities and brain trauma. In 2003, he began to cover medical aspects of newsworthy events as a broadcast journalist, and he is now the chief medical correspondent for the Health, Medical & Wellness unit at CNN. His experience allows him to add clarity to medical concerns arising from war and natural disasters as a medical reporter. His mission to help people live healthier lifestyles inspired the creation of “Fit Nation,” a multi-platform anti-obesity program on CNN.

Dr. Andrew Weil, MD

This physician and author is known as a guru for integrative and holistic medicine. His background in biology and psychopharmacology led him to focus on the relationships between human consciousness, healing and drugs. He helped coin the term “integrative medicine,” which refers to the combination of conventional medical treatments with alternative therapies to address the health of the whole person, including the body, mind and spirit. Weil has launched a number of brands that provide information as well as health products to the world.

Many of these doctors began their work practicing on patients. As the media and the Internet have helped medical knowledge pervade the public, these individuals broadened their scope and worked to make changes that surpassed their influence within the walls of their practices. They are still working to transform the face of health in the world today.