Dr. Travis Stork, in Atlanta for a medical convention, grabbed breakfast with me Wednesday at the Prime Meridien in the Omni Hotel at CNN Center.
He talked to me over a three-egg omelette with cheddar cheese, tomatoes and spinach with wheat toast. (That sounded appealing, so I ordered the same.)
Stork, who lives in Colorado with his wife but spent many years as an ER doctor in Nashville, has been host of "The Doctors" (seen locally on Channel 2 WSB at 10 a.m. weekdays) since 2008.
He calculated he has done almost 1,000 shows and 7,000 different segments covering every health topic under the sun from cancer to chronic pain. In fact, he has been on every single episode except a special all-female hour focused on the vagina.
"Personally, I've come a long way," he said. "Understanding what it takes to host a television show and also understanding that just like everything in life, we evolve."
One thing that won't change, he said, is the need to dispense quality health information as fairly and accurately as possible and help consumers become more active in managing their health. The advice, he said, supersedes the personalities. The lineup has shifted a bit over the years, with Dr. Lisa Masterson leaving this past season. But he, pediatrician Jim Sears and plastic surgeon Drew Orton remain as original hosts.
He said he has his opinions about Obamacare but refuses to publicly assess it. (Why alienate half the population?): "We've talked about the health care exchanges and how to sign up. We let them know how to navigate the system. The last thing I need to do as a doctor is become political."
For the rest of November, he said, he and the others will be doing housecalls, visiting fans who need medical advice and help. One example which aired today (Stork was dressed as some sort of weird combination of the Fonz and Dracula for Halloween) featured a two-year-old fan of his who wouldn't brush her teeth so he came over and showed her why it's important.
He and his fellow hosts are also becoming patients for the month. As he tells me in this video bit below, he is going to get a colonoscopy on TV and tell folks about it while it's happening. Yikes!
One thing he's picked up by being on this show is that thinking outside the box is becoming more commonplace in medicine, that there are more options than simply surgery and pills. "There's physical therapy, accupuncture, massage therapy, different modalities," he said. "We like to view surgery as a last resort."
He also learned that how we move around during our entire day matters more than a visit to the gym an hour a day. "You can actually burn more calories and stay fit if you move around more the rest of the day," he said. He said just being on your feet vs. sitting down burns 50 more calories an hour. (Our very own digital producer Lisa Gardner here at the AJC does that.) He said he takes phone calls on his feet. He will walk around as often as he can.
Stork also can't emphasis the need for proper sleep to reduce stress and increase productivity. For him, that means seven hours a night. He keeps electronics out of the bedroom to guarantee that. This means no cell phone on his bedside table.
'The Doctors," 10 a.m. weekdays, WSB-TV in Atlanta