Nancy Lynn Snyderman (1952–)

Nancy Lynn Snyderman is a physician and author who became a well-known medical journalist and broadcaster. She began her broadcasting career in Little Rock (Pulaski County).

Nancy Snyderman was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on March 26, 1952. Her parents were homemaker Joy Snyderman and physician Sanford Snyderman. Growing up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, she graduated from that city’s South Side High School in 1970. She attended Indiana University in Bloomington, where she graduated with a BA in microbiology.

Her medical training took place at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where she earned her Doctor of Medicine degree in 1977. During the second year of her residency at the University of Pittsburgh, she discovered an affinity for surgery, going on to specialize in otolaryngology, the study of diseases of the ear, nose, and throat. In addition to serving her medical residency in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, during the early 1980s, she appeared a few times on a local Pittsburgh television station speaking on health-related topics.

Moving to Little Rock in 1983, Snyderman joined the surgical staff at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), specializing in throat and neck cancers. In 1984, she became a regular medical correspondent at KARK-TV, the NBC television affiliate in Little Rock.

While living in Arkansas in 1986, on what she would call the day that changed her life forever, she received a call from a colleague in Fort Smith (Sebastian County), who asked her if she would adopt a newborn baby girl. Although she had no previous desire to become a parent at that time of her life, Snyderman agreed. Her colleagues at UAMS surprised her with a baby shower and set aside an empty office for the baby, who was named Kate. Over the years, Snyderman and her husband, Doug, whom she married in 1993, also became parents of two other children, Rachel and Charlie.

Moving to San Francisco, California, in 1988, Snyderman practiced head and neck surgery at the University of California San Francisco and at the nearby California Pacific Medical Center. While in San Francisco, she served as a medical correspondent for that city’s KPIX-TV in the 1990s.

Continuing with her medical career, Snyderman was also in demand as a medical correspondent on national broadcast news shows. She became a medical correspondent for ABC News for about fifteen years. She was a contributor to Good Morning America, Primetime, and 20/20. In addition, she served as a substitute co-host on Good Morning America.

She joined NBC News as its chief medical editor in 2006, with her reports appearing on the Today show, NBC Nightly News, Dateline NBC, MSNBC, and She also served as a sports desk reporter for NBC’s coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2014 Winter Olympics. She hosted her own medical news program, Dr. Nancy, on MSNBC beginning in June 2009, although it was canceled at the end of the year.

Snyderman resigned from NBC in the spring of 2015 due to a controversy involving her failure to complete a self-imposed twenty-one-day quarantine after reporting on an Ebola outbreak in Liberia. In October 2014, after returning to the United States, she had been observed near her New Jersey home picking up takeout food. New Jersey officials immediately placed her under mandatory quarantine.

Snyderman is also the author of several books on health, including Dr. Nancy Snyderman’s Guide to Good Health—What Every Forty-Plus Woman Should Know about Her Changing Body (1996), Necessary Journeys—Letting Ourselves Learn from Life (2000), Girl in the Mirror—Mothers and Daughters in the Years of Adolescence (2002), and Medical Myths That Can Kill You—And the 101 Truths That Will Save, Extend, and Improve Your Life (2008).

Among her many recognitions, Snyderman received an award in 1986 for in-depth reporting from KARK-TV in Little Rock and also won an Associated Press award for Best Documentary in 1987 for her work on sex education in Arkansas. In addition, her medical broadcast reporting has been honored with several Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Awards, as well as an Alfred I. DuPont Award and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Academy of Otolaryngology’s Head and Neck Surgery Foundation.

In 2017, she and her family established a home they call Thistle Creek Ranch in Big Timber, Montana.

For additional information:
Nancy L. Snyderman MD. (accessed February 1, 2022).

Snyderman, Nancy. Dr. Nancy Snyderman’s Guide to Good Health – What Every Forty-Plus Woman Should Know about Her Changing Body. New York: William Morrow, 1996.

———. Girl in the Mirror—Mothers and Daughters in the Years of Adolescence. New York: Hyperion, 2002.

———. Medical Myths That Can Kill You—And the 101 Truths That Will Save, Extend, and Improve Your Life. New York: Crown, 2008.

———. Necessary Journeys—Letting Ourselves Learn from Life. New York: Hyperion, 2000.

———. “The Day that Changed My Life Forever,” Today, November 6, 2013. (accessed February 1, 2022).

Nancy Hendricks
Garland County Historical Society


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