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Dr. Oz motivates workers, greets patients at free LA health clinic

October 21, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Dr. Mehmet Oz greeted volunteer doctors and patients at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena for the second day of the free health care clinic in Exposition Park.

CareNow, a Los Angeles-based non-profit group, turned the arena floor into a giant clinic. Thursday, 840 volunteers provided 1,800 medical, dental and vision treatments to the uninsured and underinsured. About 1,200 people had been treated.

The work continues Friday, but thanks to a high-profile doctor, some are getting some added motivation.

"I feel incredibly privileged to be able to serve alongside of you today, because like all of you, I realize that pain in life is inevitable," Dr. Oz said to a group of volunteers.

Hundreds of CareNow volunteers started day two of the massive free health clinic with some inspirational words from America's doctor. Dr. Oz spoke right to their hearts.

"It was pretty life changing because you just take certain stuff for granted," said one volunteer. "It was nice to help them."

Outside the arena, Dr. Oz surveyed the long lines of patients.

"What I see most when I talk to folks here - and this is very humbling - is I see a lot of people who are ashamed. That, I don't think, is excusable. People should be proud of who they are. They worked their tails off to own a piece of the rock, and sometimes they don't feel like they own it," Dr. Oz said.

He took time to look at a woman's foot X-rays. She has been suffering for years with leg and ankle pain.

The doctor also spent time with another local man who was shot in the head during a drive-by shooting. The man has constant headaches, fatigue and ear ringing.

Dr. Oz is licensed to practice medicine in New York but not in California, so he can only consult with other doctors and talk with patients. But even in that limited capacity, many at the event say he's doing a lot of good.

Many people said they hadn't seen a doctor in years due to being uninsured.

"This is so wonderful that they're doing this for us because some of us can't afford to go to the doctor," said Christina Delgado of East Los Angeles.