Travis Stork: A Famous Doc, An Easy Solution
TV star Dr. Travis Stork pens The Doctor’s Diet for restoring health & losing weightBy Jaime Netzer
Dr. Travis Stork’s career path has been so unbelievable that even he is shocked by it. “If you would have told me at [undergraduate] graduation that I would be a doctor, let alone a doctor who also hosts a TV show, I would’ve called you crazy,” Dr. Stork says.
Now a board-certified emergency medicine physician and the Emmy®-nominated co-host of the Emmy® award-winning syndicated daytime talk show “The Doctors,” Dr. Stork was once a college grad who had majored in math, and who spent his free time volunteering at a free clinic in Washington, D.C., where he saw constant interaction between doctors and patients. “I just had such admiration for the doctors who were working there,” he says. “I absolutely love the integrity of the one-on-one relationship like that of a patient with a physician, and I started to brainstorm the idea of going back to medical school and becoming a doctor. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
“I was able to apply my math and science background to medicine, which as much as any other field has a human component. It was a win for me,” Dr. Stork says. His medicine career eventually led him to a TV career, but the two share more similarities than differences, he says. “When people ask me about what it’s like to host a TV show, I always have the same response, which is that it’s not that different than just being a normal doctor,” Dr. Stork says. “You’re just reaching more people, but your intentions are the same, which are to help people live healthier lives.”
One thing that is different: he can deliver a slightly more unconventional message. “One of the reasons why I love hosting the show is also one of the reasons why I feel blessed to be able to write a book: it allows me to talk about things that as a doctor, say in the ER, I might not be able to.”
And just what is that message? As his career has developed, Dr. Stork has become deeply committed to preventative medicine. “What I’m passionate about now is prevention and teaching people the things they can do to prevent their doctor’s visit in the first place,” he says.
“It’s just ironic the way my career has evolved,” Dr. Stork adds. “I went from learning how to take care of people after they got sick to now really starting to focus on helping people to never get sick.”
First came “The Doctors,” and next up is his new book, The Doctor’s Diet: Restore Health & Lose Weight, now available nationwide. While Dr. Stork, of course, acknowledges that the occasional bug will land you in the doctor’s office, he has authored The Doctor’s Diet in part to encourage the kind of diet and lifestyle that will keep you out of the doctor’s office for illnesses related to unhealthy eating. In The Doctor’s Diet, Dr. Stork makes balanced nutrition simple with his 10 Food Prescriptions (for example, Break Up with Sugar and Go Nuts over Nuts). Each prescription identifies problems and teaches ways of using food to heal and restore the body instead of contributing to, or exacerbating, health problems.
The book boasts a heavy emphasis on great-tasting meals, easy-to-follow recipes and enough flexibility that anyone can follow it, including vegetarians, gluten-free individuals, meat-lovers and everyone in between.
“Hippocrates, who is the father of modern medicine, said ‘Let food be thy medicine,’” Dr. Stork says. “Part of this book is teaching people who are battling with their weight or health how they can use food to lose weight. It’s not always a pill that’s going to give you back your health. In fact, it’s usually not going to be a pill. Pills are necessary in many situations, but what’s amazing is that if we use food appropriately, we could probably cut back our prescription drug use by a huge percentage.”
Dr. Stork’s own father was put on diabetes medication years ago, and Dr. Stork later discovered that his father’s doctor had not suggested walks after dinner, or to cut back on the dinner rolls, for example. “It’s not too uncommon of a story,” Dr. Stork says. “But luckily now it’s happening less and less. More doctor’s offices have nutritionists on staff, and there’s a definite movement towards accepting what a big role nutrition plays.”
In his role on TV and with his new book, Dr. Stork has felt privileged to gain more of an audience with his virtual ‘patients.’ “I’ve been very pleased with my role hosting “The Doctors” day in and day out to reinforce those healthy behaviors,” Dr. Stork says. “Where with a patient, you might only see them once every six months, on the show we have an hour every day. And with the book, I can put my thoughts on paper and if someone’s trying to learn about how to eat healthier, they’ll have access to it.”
Dr. Stork says another trend he has been thrilled to watch develop is how educated patients have become and how hungry they are for information. “It’s really remarkable, and it crosses borders,” he says. “People have so many questions, and that’s never going to end.” He also adds that an educated patient is often a doctor’s favorite patient. “When a patient has been educated by “The Doctors,” or any other reliable source of healthy living education, they take that knowledge to their doctor and have a better understanding of everything that’s happening, and doctors appreciate that as much as anyone. Doctors love when their patients are engaged with their own health.”