Morning Show Docs Give Their Takes on Current Hot Topics in Medicine

TV Doctors
ABC/Heidi Gutman; Nathan Congleton/NBC; Heather Wines/CBS
Dr. Jennifer Ashton, Dr. Natalie Azar and Dr. Tara Narula

Who says physicians don’t make house calls anymore?

TV’s morning show medical correspondents visit your living room every week. Among those doctors are Good Morning America‘s ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton, an OB-GYN with advanced degrees in nutrition and an author, most recently of The Self Care Solution.

Also sharing tips on TV is Today‘s NBC News Medical Contributor Dr. Natalie Azar, a rheumatologist specializing in arthritis and autoimmunity and an assistant clinical professor of medicine and rheumatology at the NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan. Or you may be most familiar with CBS This Morning‘s Dr. Tara Narula, a cardiologist and assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine at the Zucker School of Medicine, Hofstra/Northwell, in Long Island, New York.

We talked to three of these dedicated journalist doctors (all of whom still see patients) about hot health headlines, wellness tips and why they love wearing the white coat. Below, they offer some sage advice.

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Got a take on a hot topic in medicine?

Dr. Jennifer Ashton: With coronavirus, make decisions based on facts, not fear. If you’re not sure about something, like a vacation to a certain area, compare the risks and benefits of doing it.

Dr. Natalie Azar: Time’s up on women not being heard by doctors who historically have attributed their symptoms to anxiety, stress or depression. Advocate for yourself. And keep looking until you find a doctor who listens.

Dr. Tara Narula: There shouldn’t be a stigma around mental health. Besides therapy and medication, I talk to my patients about mindfulness. I tried the Calm app — life-changing!

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What is an ongoing concern in your specialty area?

Dr. Jennifer Ashton: Our country’s maternal mortality rate has soared over the last 30 years. We put a lot of focus on the baby, and hardly any on the woman.

Dr. Natalie Azar: I’ve spent a lot of time learning about, diagnosing and peripherally treating chronic fatigue syndrome, a very poorly understood condition.

Dr. Tara Narula: Cardiovascular diseases are the biggest killer of females in this country. Women need to know the symptoms.

Natalie Azar

Dr. Natalie Azar on Today (Credit: Nathan Congleton/NBC)

Any seasonal health tips?

Dr. Jennifer Ashton: Get back on your diet and fitness A game. And remember it’s still flu season.

Dr. Natalie Azar: Get good sneakers and walk — it’s physically and emotionally therapeutic.

Dr. Tara Narula: Put physical activity on your to-do list: 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous.

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Who’s your favorite fictional TV MD?

Dr. Jennifer Ashton: Miranda Bailey [Chandra Wilson] on Grey’s Anatomy. She’s fiery and doesn’t back down but has a sensitive side.

Dr. Natalie Azar: John Carter [Noah Wyle] in ER, a third-year medical student at the same time I was. I felt his humanity.

Dr. Tara Narula: Meredith Grey [Ellen Pompeo] on Grey’s Anatomy. I watched while going through residency, when you’re pulled between work and personal life. I identified with her.

GMA Jennifer Ashton

Dr. Jennifer Ashton on Good Morning America (Credit: ABC/Lou Rocco)

Why do you love being a doctor?

Dr. Jennifer Ashton: When someone says “You delivered my son” or “You saved my life,” it takes my breath away. I am from a family of physicians in New York, and my mother was a nurse. I wanted to have that impact on people.

Dr. Natalie Azar: My dad was a doctor in Pennsylvania. When I was young, my older sister was sick and passed out. I didn’t know what to do — I hated that feeling of impotence. I wanted to fix people.

Dr. Tara Narula: When I was a girl in Miami, I made rounds on the weekends with my dad, a cardiologist. He always used to put his hand on the patient. I’ve never forgotten that connection.