10 Questions with ... Dr. Josh Axe
February 21, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Speaker. Author. Passionate Radio Show Host. Author of "The Real Food Diet Cookbook," released in 2010. Dr. Axe combined the power of advanced nutrition with simple and easy to follow recipes, to create 140 healthy meals that taste great. As a weekly radio show host, Dr. Josh Axe offers life changing health solutions to his listeners and callers.
The go-to physician for professional athletes. He has worked with professional and Olympic level athletes and will be traveling to the Olympic games in London 2012.
1. What brought you from your practice to doing radio? What led you to do a radio show?
I had recently moved to Nashville and heard Dave Ramsey on the radio. I couldn't believe how many lives were being transformed, and I loved that people were getting out of financial debt and thought I needed to help people get out of health debt. I knew I could use the platform of radio to help millions of American's get healthy. I asked a friend of mine, Simon, who worked for Dave, what I needed to do to start my own show. He set me up with Dave's radio department and they were gracious enough to give me some pointers.
The reason I do radio is to help the millions of Americans who need help. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 34% of Americans are obese and 32% are overweight. That means 2 in 3 Americans need to lose weight, not to mention reduce their risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, which has tripled in the past 10 years! I do radio because I want to help save lives across America.
2. Often, your callers and listeners are likely to be on the wrong path to health. They eat too much, they eat the wrong food, they don't exercise, and they say they don't have time to do any of that. What do you tell them? What should be the first step they can take to get well?
First I tell them they need to ask WHY before What. Most people at least know that they need to eat more fruits and veggies and exercise and they still don't do that. Why? Because they don't have a big WHY in life. I tell listeners they don't need to change their diet to look better. I tell them they need to lose weight so they can be there to support their families, raise their kids, and be better at their God given mission in life!
The first step is eating a healthier breakfast, and my personal favorite is a berry smoothie. It tastes great and it's healthy, packed with antioxidants, healthy fat, and protein. Think about it, if someone just changed their breakfast, that's a 33% diet improvement, and that's a really big deal! (If people want to find the berry smoothie recipe they can go to www.draxe.com)
3. One of the roadblocks to wellness in some people's minds is the health insurance situation, whether it's poor coverage from an employer-arranged plan, wildly expensive individual coverage, or no coverage at all. What, if anything, as a physician, do you think should be done about this? Do you foresee health coverage as a problem that persists, something that will be solved in the foreseeable future... and what will the consequences be if a solution isn't found?
I am a huge fan of health savings accounts (HSA) and flex spending accounts. It gives the patient a choice on how they will invest in their health. I believe in the old statement, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". I can tell you that getting cancer and paying for treatment even with insurance is way more expensive than investing in your health each year in order to prevent it. The solution is educating the public on how to live a healthy lifestyle.
4. What differences are there between your show and other medical shows on radio and TV -- what do you bring to the table to differentiate yourself from other "doctor shows"? What's been the basis, in your mind, for the show's success so far at WTN?
I think there are two major differences between my show and other shows. First, my show isn't just about health, it's also about life. People get a lot of laughs on the show, like when someone tells me they are on an all-shrimp diet, eating only shrimp every meal! Also, it might make you cry; when someone calls in for their mother who has just been diagnosed with cancer and given 6 months to live, things can get emotional. Second, the show is about a mission. I'm here to entertain, but I am also here to help people inspire people and see lives changed.
5. There's more information, accurate or not, good or bad, about health and medicine available to the average consumer than ever before. Everyone races to the web to look up every symptom. Do you see this as a good or bad thing, and what do you advise listeners about seeking information about health issues? What should they be looking out for, or be aware of, when Googling whatever ails them?
I think it's a good thing that there is more information. Yes, there is a lot of false information out there, but there is also a lot of good information and research. When searching the internet everyone needs to use common sense. There is no magic pill. Most people lifestyle their way into bad health, so they need to lifestyle their way back to good health.
6. Who have been your mentors and inspirations in your career?
My biggest mentors are Dave Ramsey on the radio side and Jordan Rubin on the health side. I greatly respect these guys because they have integrity and are on a God given mission to help people. In fact, I have had many people tell me I'm the "Dave Ramsey of Health." As for inspirations, I really admire Martin Luther King Jr. because he helped people regain their freedom. I aspire to do a similar things in health. There are millions of Americans who suffer from health problems that are keeping them from being their best, and I want to help set them free from their health problems.
7. Your approach has been to rely more on natural treatment -- nutrition, detoxification, stress relief -- rather than drugs. Have you found the medical establishment becoming more receptive towards your approach, or do you still feel resistance? How do you answer people who are skeptical about your approach?
The medical field is becoming more natural every year and I get embraced by most doctors. I have doctors from both the medical and natural fields wanting to work together. Just look at TV, if you watch "The Dr. Oz Show" or "The Doctors," more than half of the content is natural health advice. I think radio is starting to pick up on the fact that health is the fastest growing topic out there. The Dr. Axe show ratings are higher than ever, beating out the majority of syndicated political shows the same day.
8. Of what are you most proud?
I am most proud of my relationships. God has blessed me with an amazing family, great friends, and a smoking hot wife :)
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _______________.
...exercise, vegetable juice and prayer.
10. What's the most important lesson you've learned in your career?
To use my platform for a purpose. So many people who are given a platform waste it. I am blessed to be part of the radio industry and I am excited to have a platform where I can help thousands of people get healthy on a daily basis. Also, another life lesson, you become who you surround yourself with. So I put myself around people with high integrity and people who want to change the world.