Ivan Kronenfeld has a background that includes acting, boxing and working as a private eye, and he has a PhD in parapsychology. He's also a close friend and mentor of Dr. Oz, and he has helped Dr. Oz begin his career as an author and media figure. Ivan talks with Dr. Oz about his life and outlook on the future problems of America.
The people Ivan says he has met throughout his colorful life have shaped his ideas and experiences. "I've been very lucky in life—I've been able to meet and work with the most interesting human beings and tried to learn from them," he says. Ivan says he's learned that there is a common thread through every occupation. "There's a physics to human behavior, whether you're in medicine, in law or in boxing," he explains. "Once you learn that physics, which we're never through mastering, it doesn't matter what you're doing [for a living]—humans are doing it."
Dr. Oz says Ivan is known for identifying issues before they catch the public's attention, as evidenced by his early support for alternative medicine. There are three major issues Ivan says the nation is facing today:
The drug problem: Ivan says he believes in medicalization—not criminalization—when dealing with addicts, and that doctors need to lead the national debate. "The problem isn't going to disappear through enforcement," he says.
Public service: Serving the nation, in whatever capacity you can, is no longer a priority to most Americans, Ivan says. "Can we all say we did our part?" he asks. The fact that we've basically eliminated that calling, especially among younger generations, is going to be a problem for the country in the future, he says.
Transforming healthcare: Ivan says as life expectancy increases, other problems arise, highlighting the need for changes in the healthcare system. "We're going to need organizations like the wellness community, specializing in getting you through what the family used to get you through," he says. With families spread across the country and the high rate of divorce, there's a need for a different kind of support system.