updated 12/07/2011 AT 10:35 AM ET
•originally published 12/07/2011 AT 11:30 AM ET
Why him? Why now?
“The January issue is all about firsts. I met Dr. Oz in 2003 as his first guest on Second Opinion – a medical series he and his wife, Lisa, created for the Discovery Channel. Now here we are, over eight years later. … What can I say? I adore Dr. Oz,” Winfrey tells PEOPLE exclusively.
“As we toast to a new year and encourage readers to take the first step toward a happier, healthier life, who better to help us get on the right path than my dear friend and America’s doctor, Dr. Oz.”
And while America’s doctor may have a great bedside manner, the cover interview reveals it’s the pillow talk with his own wife that needs some work.
“I think I’m a better doctor than I am a husband,” Oz, 51, tells Winfrey in January’s issue. “I give myself a good grade as a doctor, then the next best grade as a father, and the worst grade as a husband. I don’t listen well when Lisa talks.”
But he recognizes that Lisa is his greatest advocate, and has steered his career in directions he never would have taken.
“It was her vision early on to create the kind of show [Second Opinion on Discovery Health] we’re doing now,” he says. “She had a much larger vision for me than I did for myself. We actually had a big spat about this a couple of months ago. It’s just one after another of things I do wrong. And I do do them wrong. But she’s quick to make sure I own up to it.”
Dr. Oz sees that book as partly directed at him. “The reason she wrote Us is that after 25 years of me not listening to pillow talk, she figured if she wrote it down, maybe I’d read it and believe it,” he says.
The January issue of O will hit newsstands Dec. 13.