‘Jeopardy!’: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Answers Whether Hosting or Performing Brain Surgery Is More Difficult

by Samantha Whidden
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Following the first episode of his two-week stint as Jeopardy! guest host, CNN health correspondent and surgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta took to Twitter to answer the question: Which is more difficult; hosting Jeopardy! or brain surgery.

“Definitely brain surgery… But, there are surprising similarities!” Sanjay Gupta states on the social media platform. 

Gupta also reveals that he wrote an op-ed about his experience on the show. In the piece, Gupta explains that his surgical training helped him get into the “right groove” for the Jeopardy! stage. “In many ways, I prepped for the guest-hosting role the way I prepare for an operation, diligently reviewing not only the diagnosis and anatomy of the patient but the space and environment where I would be performing the operation.”

Gupta also reveals, “With Jeopardy! I spent hours reviewing the clues, understanding, repeating, and memorizing them, but also exploring the space and feel of the set. Usually, television sets tend to be much smaller than they appear on TV, but that was not the case here. There was the enormous game board, three contestant lecterns, plasma monitors, and still plenty of additional room to explore.”

Gupta also notes that his time as the guest host was a sentimental experience. “Thinking of my parents while strains on the set I had spent so much time watching with them in my early years,” he recalls. 

Dr. Sanjay Gupta Talks Being Asked to Guest Host on ‘Jeopardy!’ and the Show’s Impact on His Childhood

Dr. Sanjay Gupta spoke about being asked to be a guest host in his op-ed piece. “No, there weren’t any shrill trumpets,” he says. “But I do remember the theme music from Jeopardy! playing in my head, starting before Barry [Nugent, a Jeopardy! executive] even finished speaking.”

Gupta then recalls, “For most everyone else though, ‘think’ represents Final Jeopardy! The time to write your response and make your ager. As soon as the music started playing in my mind I was transported to my childhood.”

In regards to how Jeopardy! had an impact on his childhood, Gupta states, “My parents are both engineers and they inspired my early love of Jeopardy! Them, the newly immigrated younger parents, still developing their English skills, and excelling at categories involving math, science, and world history Me, the burgeoning teenager, showcasing my knowledge of pop culture, spots, and emerging trends.”

Gupta goes on to add, “Jeopardy! was the great equalizer in our family. We all had our strengths and our weaknesses. Any of us could emerge a champion. Decades later, I can still recall the look of pride my dad had when he came up with the correct response. I later realized he was even more proud when his young son did the same.”

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