Docs who made it big outside medicine

I came across this list in one of the RxPG forums posted by Omlakhani, who (or someone) has enlisted the physicians who branched out of medicine field and made it big outside. I was pleasantly surprised to see the big names in the list whom I never knew to be physicians. List is here for you.

Add to the list if you know anyone who is not here, by entering them in the comments section.

Physicians famous as writers

Among the better known writers:

Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) - Russian playwright

Robin Cook - American author of bestselling novels, wrote Coma

Michael Crichton (born 1942) - American author of Jurassic Park
A. J. Cronin (1896-1981) - Scottish novelist and essayist, author of The Citadel.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) - British author of Sherlock Holmes fame.

John Keats (1795-1821) - English poet

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) - British novelist and short story writer, wrote Of Human Bondage.

Alfred de Musset (1810-1857) - French playwright, discovered sign of syphilitic aortitis

François Rabelais (1483-1553) - French author of Gargantua and Pantagruel.

Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805), German writer, poet, essayist and dramatist.

William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) - American poet and essayist

And others:

John Arbuthnot - author

Patrick Abercromby (1656 - ~ 1716) - historian

Janet Asimov - (born 1926) (née Janet O. Jeppson). American psychiatrist, wife of Isaac Asimov.

Arnie Baker - cycling coach

Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682) - British writer

Georg Büchner - German dramatist

Ludwig Büchner - German philosopher

Thomas Campion - poet, composer

Deepak Chopra - Indian/American writer of self-help and health books

Alex Comfort (1920-2000) - British writer and poet, author of The Joy of Sex.

Michael Cook - American writer of suspense novels

Ctesias (5th century B.C.) - Greek historian

Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802). British poet, grandfather of Charles Darwin

Georges Duhamel (1884-1966) - French writer, dramatist, poet and humanist

Havelock Ellis (1859-1940) - British writer and poet, author of The Psychology of Sex

Victor Frankl (1905-1997) - Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, author of Man's Search for Meaning

Samuel Garth (1661-1719) - British author and translator of classics

Atul Gawande, surgeon and New Yorker medical writer.

H. Richard Hornberger author of M*A*S*H

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894) - American essayist

Arthur Johnston (1587-1641) - poet

Ronald Laing - Scottish writer and poet, leader of the anti-Psychiatry movement.

Stanisław Lem (1929-) - Polish author of science-fiction (Solaris)

Carlo Levi (1902-1975) - Italian novelist and writer

David Livingstone (1813-1873) - Scottish medical missionary, explorer of Africa, travel writer

Adeline Yen Mah - Chinese-American author.

Jean-Paul Marat (1743-1793) - French writer, a leader of French Revolution, assassinated in bathtub

Paolo Mantegazza (1831-1910) - Italian writer, wrote a science fiction book, L'Anno 3000

Silas Weir Mitchell (1829-1914) - American writer

João Guimarães Rosa - Brazilian writer

Sir Ronald Ross (1857-1932) - British writer and poet, discovered the malarial parasite.

Oliver Sacks (1933-). British essayist (e.g. The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat)

Albert Schweitzer(1875-1965) - German theologian, philosopher, organist, musicologist

Frank Slaughter (1908-2001) American bestseller author, wrote (Doctor's Wives)

Tobias Smollett (1721-1771) - author

Lewis Thomas (1913-1993) - American essayist and poet

Sir Henry Thompson, British surgeon and polymath.

Vladislav Vančura (1891-1942) - Czech writer, scriptwriter and film director

Francis Brett Young (1884-1954) - English novelist and poet

Physicians famous as politicians

Bashar Al-Assad - President of Syria

Ibrahim Al-Jaafari - Prime minister of Iraq

Iyad Allawi - interim Prime Minister of Iraq

Salvador Allende (1908-1973) - Chilean president

Emilio Alvarez Montalván - Foreign Minister of Nicaragua

Arnulfo Arias - Panaman President

Michelle Bachelet - Current Chilean President

Hastings Kamuzu Banda (1898-1997) - Prime Minister, President and later dictator of Malawi

Louis Blanqui - French revolutionary socialist

Frederick William Borden - Canadian MP and minister of the Militia

Bob Brown - parliamentry leader of the Australian Greens

Gro Harlem Brundtland (born 1939) - first Norwegian female prime minister and Director-General of the World Health Organization

Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929) - French statesman

Margaret Chan - Director General of the WHO and former Director of Health of Hong Kong

York Chow - Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food of Hong Kong

Tom Coburn (born 1948) - U.S. Senator

Howard Dean (born 1948) - American politician

François Duvalier (1907-1971) - also known as Papa Doc - President and later dictator of Haiti

Antônio Palocci Filho - Brazilian politician, Finance Minister

Christian Friedrich, Baron von Stockmar - Anglo-Belgian statesman

Bill Frist (born 1952) - United States Senate Majority Leader

Hedy Fry (born 1941) - Canadian politician, member of parliament

Che Guevara Latin American revolutionary leader

George Habash - founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

John Pope Hennessy - former Governor of Hong Kong

Juscelino Kubitscheck - Brazilian president

Jean-Paul Marat - French revolution leader

Mahathir bin Mohamad - Malaysian prime minister

Agostinho Neto (1922-1979) - MPLA leader and president of Angola

David Owen - British politician

Ron Paul (born 1935) - American politician

Navin Ramgoolam - Prime minister of Mauritius

José Rizal (1861-1896) - Filipino revolutionary and national hero

Théodore Robitaille - Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, Quebec MNA and Senator

Hélio de Oliveira Santos - Brazilian politician, mayor of Campinas

Tabaré Vázquez - Current Uruguayan President

Bette Stephenson - Ontario MPP and former Minister of Labour, Minister of Education and Minister of Colleges and Universities

Sun Yat-Sen (1866-1925) - Founder of republican China

Donald Matheson Sutherland - MP and former minister of National Defence

Sir Charles Tupper (1821–1915) - Prime Minister of Canada (1896) and Premier of Nova Scotia (1864-1867); High Commissioner in Great Britain (1884-1887)

Ali Akbar Velayati (born 1945) - Iranian Foreign Minister from 1981 to 1997.

William Walker (soldier) (1824-1860) - ruler of Nicaragua

Dave Weldon - US congressman and autism activist

Ray Lyman Wilbur (1875-1949) - United States Secretary of the Interior, president of Stanford University

Thomas Wynne (1627-1691) - Physician to William Penn, speaker of the first two Provincial Assemblies in Philadelphia (1687 & 1688)

Yeoh Eng-kiong - former Secretary for Health and Welfare of Hong Kong

Physicians famous for other activities

Abd-el-latif — traveller

Anderson Ruffin Abbott

Jane Addams - social activist

Georg Agricola — mineralologist

David Alter - inventor

Ali Bacher — cricketer

Josiah Bartlett - American statesman and chief justice of New Hampshire

Herman Boerhaave — humanist

Thomas Bowdler — censor

Lafayette Bunnell — explorer of Yosemite Valley

Graham Chapman — British comedian of Monty Python fame

Laurel B. Clark (1961–2003), American Astronaut, killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster
Arthur Dee
Sextus Empiricus (2nd–3rd century C.E.) - philosopher

Pierre Gassendi (1592–1655) — philosopher

William Gilbert (1544–1603) — physician and physicist

W. G. Grace — cricketer

Nehemiah Grew — botanist

Samuel Hahnemann — founder of homeopathy

Armand Hammer — entrepreneur

Samuel Gridley Howe — abolitionist

Hermann von Helmholtz — physicist

Jan Baptist van Helmont (1577–1655) — physiologist

Mae Jemison (b. 1956) — astronaut

Stuart Kauffman (b. 1939) — biologist

John Harvey Kellogg

Cesare Lombroso (1835–1909) — based his system of criminology on physiognomy

John Lovelock (1910–1949) — Olympic athlete

John McAndrew (b. 1927) — All-Ireland Gaelic Footballer

June McCarroll — inventor of lane markings

James McHenry (1753–1816) — signer of the United States Constitution

Archibald Menzies — naturalist

Franz Mesmer (1734–1815) — proponent of mesmerism and the idea of animal magnetism

Jonathan Miller — television presenter and stage director

Paul Möhring (1710–1792) — zoologist, botanist

Maria Montessori — educator

Boris V. Morukov — cosmonaut

Lee "Final Table" Nelson — professional poker player

Haing S. Ngor (Oscar winning film actor)

Nostradamus — French esoterist.

Heinrich Wilhelm Matthäus Olbers (1758–1840) — astronomer

Caspar Peucer

Christian Hendrik Persoon -South African botanist

Claude Perrault — architect

Philippe Pinel

Pope John XXI

Mowaffak al-Rubaie — human rights advocate, member of the Interim Iraqi Governing Council

John Ray plant taxonomer

Peter Mark Roget — English lexicographer

Jacques Rogge — sports official

Benjamin Rush — signer of the United States Constitution

Daniel Rutherford (1849–1819) — chemist

Felix Savart - physicist

Alfred Schopenhauer — philosopher

Albert Schweitzer — humanist

Michael Servetus (1511–1553) — burnt at the stake by Calvinists for heresy

Rob Sitch comedian

Sócrates — football (soccer) player

L.Subramaniam - violonist

James Hudson Taylor (1832 - 1905) - British missionary to China and founder of the China Inland Mission.

Norman Earl Thagard — astronaut

Debi Thomas (b. 1967) - Olympic figure skater

William E. Thornton — astronaut

Nasiruddin al-Tusi astronomer

William Walker Latin American Adventurer

John Clarence Webster — Canadian historian

Wilhelm Weinberg — with G.H. Hardy, developed the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium model of population genetics

Michael Welner - Forensic psychiatrist

JPR Williams — rugby union player

Thomas Young — scientist

Ayman al-Zawahiri Al-Qaeda leader

Thats a long list....

Like to add some more...?? Use the comments section

Seeji, Pharm House


  1. jhilaam says

    That's an interesting [exhaustive as well :)]list.Just one more addition to it,which is closer home.....Palash Sen of Euphoria fame is a doctor (from AIIMS) by profession.

    He might look like the odd man out in this list of heavy weight politicians & novelists, but being a Bengali myself I could not resist adding his name... :)

    taneja says

    Hey, this is actually a collection edited by wikipedia. You have credited it to some obscure site rxpg... indded an interesting collection

    Prasanna says

    @ Taneja

    You are right. I checked the wikipedia site. I came across this in RxPG site..

    I will update the correct source.
    Thank you

    Seeji says

    @ Jhilaam,

    Thank you..

    We still have many more examples in India.

    Aditi Gowitrikar - Modelling

    Chandraprakash Dwivedi - the "Chanakya" guy

    Shriram Lagoo (ENT ), Mohan Agashe (psychiatrist)- acting

    Dr Praveen Bhai Togadia VHP an oncosurgeon

    dr narottam puri an ENT specialist and radio cricket commentetor

    Dr Chitra Barucha , acting chief of BBC world (from my alma mater)

    and many more