Who are some doctors who are renowned for their work outside the field of medicine?
February 7, 2011 8:49 AM   Subscribe

Who are some doctors who are renowned for their work outside the field of medicine?

Medicine is a famously time-consuming profession and field of study. I'd like some examples of physicians who have also found time to excel in other areas. Including but not limited to: the arts, sports, the humanities, literature, or sciences outside of biology and medicine.

Thanks!
posted by edguardo to Society & Culture (59 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
William Carlos Williams
posted by craichead at 8:50 AM on February 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Michael Crichton.

Plus all those TV doctors on CNN etc.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:51 AM on February 7, 2011


Not sure if this counts, but there's Paul Farmer.
posted by alms at 8:55 AM on February 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Michael Burry, kinda sorta.
posted by mullacc at 8:56 AM on February 7, 2011


There's also Albert Schweitzer.
posted by alms at 8:57 AM on February 7, 2011


There are 19 doctors in the U.S. Congress, and a former Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist, was a doctor as well.
posted by googly at 8:58 AM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, I wouldn't call it excelling, but Rand Paul is an MD.
posted by msk1985 at 8:58 AM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


The fiction writer Ethan Canin.
posted by Tylwyth Teg at 9:00 AM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Atul Gawande
posted by ghharr at 9:02 AM on February 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anton Chekhov
posted by milarepa at 9:05 AM on February 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Papa Doc
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:05 AM on February 7, 2011


See Wikipedia's List of physicians, which has sections for those famous as criminals, writers, politicians, or for other reasons.
posted by James Scott-Brown at 9:06 AM on February 7, 2011




W. Somerset Maugham trained as a doctor, but never actually practised as one.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 9:07 AM on February 7, 2011


Marcel-Paul Schützenberger.
posted by erdferkel at 9:08 AM on February 7, 2011


Ken Jeong, of Community and The Hangover fame.
posted by auto-correct at 9:08 AM on February 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Graham Chapman
posted by timsteil at 9:11 AM on February 7, 2011


Oliver Sacks.
posted by matildaben at 9:16 AM on February 7, 2011


Controversial, but Jerry Vlasak.
posted by analog at 9:16 AM on February 7, 2011


The founders of MacRumors.com and GM-Volt.com (both fairly prominent blogs, particularly the former) are doctors, although the founder of MacRumors.com, Arnold Kim, quit his nephrology practice to work full time on the blog a few years ago. The founder of GM-Volt.com is still a practicing neurologist.
posted by jedicus at 9:16 AM on February 7, 2011


My snarky answer is Freud.

Seconding Stanislaw Lem, whose His Master's Voice is next on my fiction reading list.
posted by phrontist at 9:18 AM on February 7, 2011


Oliver Sacks, the neurologist.
James Herriot, the veterinarian.

Their creative work uses their work in medicine as material.
posted by Ventre Mou at 9:20 AM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Harry Hill
posted by biffa at 9:24 AM on February 7, 2011


Liam Fox
posted by dougrayrankin at 9:27 AM on February 7, 2011


Vincent Lam, author of the short story collection Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures.
posted by sea change at 9:30 AM on February 7, 2011


Khaled Hosseni.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 9:30 AM on February 7, 2011


Abraham Verghese
posted by jeanmari at 9:35 AM on February 7, 2011


Scott Parazynski
posted by jeanmari at 9:37 AM on February 7, 2011


Gold-medal winner Dot Richardson took a leave of absence from an orthopedic residency program to compete in the Olympics.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:39 AM on February 7, 2011


Lissa Rankin of "Owning Pink"
posted by jeanmari at 9:40 AM on February 7, 2011


Depending on how you define "excel", Bashar al-Assad of Syria might count, though it looks like he just missed completion of his formal training in ophthalmology.
posted by jquinby at 9:44 AM on February 7, 2011


Story Musgrave, surgeon and astronaut, possibly the real-life Buckaroo Banzai. Minus the rock band.
posted by mkb at 9:47 AM on February 7, 2011


Roger Bannister: first 4 minute mile

Mike Stroud: polar explorer

(and both have written books about their experiences).
posted by AFII at 9:49 AM on February 7, 2011


Eric Heiden
posted by lpsguy at 9:57 AM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


H.H. Holmes was very successful in his chosen hobbies.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:59 AM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
posted by bardophile at 10:05 AM on February 7, 2011


Boris Pasternak, author of Dr. Zhivago.
posted by orange swan at 10:05 AM on February 7, 2011


Raymond Tallis
posted by Jabberwocky at 10:06 AM on February 7, 2011


Many physicians are engaged in research in addition to their clinical duties. Frequently, this research will span areas of humanities or social sciences that are somewhat related to, or intersect with, their medical interests. I didn't really have any idea how common this was until I started working for the a place called "The Center for Health & the Social Sciences", which sort of focuses on this exact thing. My impression is that the doctors we work with do clinical rotations and their levels of busy-ness are kind of cyclical and split between seeing patients and working on research projects.
posted by booknerd at 10:11 AM on February 7, 2011


Luke.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:11 AM on February 7, 2011


Ben Goldacre? Writer and general battler against bad science in the media.
posted by corvine at 10:27 AM on February 7, 2011


Doctor Livingstone, I presume.
Along with violinist and composer Fritz Kreisler
posted by drlith at 10:37 AM on February 7, 2011


on the political front, there's Che Guevara and Norman Bethune.
posted by Joad at 10:44 AM on February 7, 2011


A list of Doctors who are also authors from the British Medical Association.

(To be fair, a few of the people listed so far weren't exactly practicing doctors while they excelled in other fields - Conan Doyle certainly wasn't rushed off his feet with patients, and Keats quit his surgeon-apothecary career to write).
posted by AFII at 10:44 AM on February 7, 2011


David "Dr. Dave" Kieffer is an orthopedic surgeon, and was in the early to mid-90's a national level superbike racer, which I don't mind telling you is not an easy thing to do.
posted by pts at 10:52 AM on February 7, 2011


Ray Muzyka, co- founder of the videogame company Bioware, has an MD from the University of Alberta.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:16 AM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nostradamus (I think)
posted by Neekee at 11:35 AM on February 7, 2011


Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
posted by jayder at 12:19 PM on February 7, 2011


John Henry "Doc" Holliday was more famous for gunfighting than dentistry.
posted by Jamesonian at 12:35 PM on February 7, 2011


Abraham van Helsing
posted by milk white peacock at 12:56 PM on February 7, 2011


Vascular surgeon Dale Chase was an innovative woodworker who made the most amazing boxes.
posted by spasm at 1:00 PM on February 7, 2011



posted by Monday, stony Monday at 1:24 PM on February 7, 2011


Google Ron Paul
posted by Ad hominem at 1:41 PM on February 7, 2011


Jonathan Miller, Jonathan LaPaglia
posted by davemack at 5:02 PM on February 7, 2011


Robin Cook (author of Coma and many other medical thrillers). Perri Klass.
posted by sdn at 5:51 PM on February 7, 2011


Tenley Albright, Debi Thomas, and Amy Chow.
posted by creepygirl at 8:01 PM on February 7, 2011


Jonathan Kellerman
posted by SisterHavana at 10:53 PM on February 7, 2011


Deniz Tek, rock star and fighter pilot. He paints and sculpts, too.
posted by Scram at 11:01 PM on February 7, 2011




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