Screw Med School, I’m going to Hollywood/ The Louvre

By Grace Yeung

Picture this: your med colleagues are on their way to another day of boring hospital work (ho-hum). They look quite the doctor with their clinical clothes, hospital lanyards dangling around their necks and hot coffees in their dominant hands. Pressing the cross-walk button an obscene amount of times, they suddenly hear the manly rumble of an expensive motor. That’s right, it’s you in a Lamborghini, lowering your flashy Vogue sunglasses to see them better as you slow down next to them. You flash your million dollar smile. Your friends turn greener than their scrubs. “All in a day’s work,” you say with a quick wave of your hand, “Good-bye, you hospital-dwelling plebs, Hollywood’s the life for me!” Pressing down on the accelerator as the light goes green, you leave your friends (who are still gaping behind you) in a cloud of dust.

Class? Awww yeah!

A bit of an exaggeration? Okay, fine. But the point is, Hollywood is not necessarily off-limits for medical students. We often think that medical school ends in a left-brained career, all dull digits and clinical technicalities but really a whole range of creative opportunities are possible, especially for those of you who are still nursing a bit of a creative streak (which likely has been woefully neglected during your years of medical training).

So, after you do finish med school, what opportunities are there? Here are 5 examples of careers that doctors have pursued after their medical training.

1. Acting

How could you go past Ken Jeong as an example of a physician turned actor? Best known for his roles as Leslie Chow in The Hangover and Ben Chang on the TV series Community, he is a perfect example of Hollywood after the hospital. He apparently honed his knack for comedy during his residency.

This famous line was probably practised on supervisors who just wanted a little more respect.

2. Writing

This is a pretty well-known career path for doctors to go into. You don’t just need to write textbooks and research papers. Usually the general public finds the life of a doctor fascinating and books like ‘House of God’ get born. Some other doctors who are well-known for their contribution to medical literature (and when I say literature, I don’t mean Kumar & Clark sort of literature) include:

Michael Collins, author of ‘Hot Lights, Cold Steel: Life, Death and Sleepless Nights’ and Atul Gawande, author of ‘Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science’

You could also shock everybody by becoming a poet, like Thomas Holley Chivers, an American physician in the mid-19th century who became a poet and was a well-known supporter of Edgar Allen Poe.


“Let us go then, you and I,

When the evening is spread out across the sky

Like a patient etherized upon a table…”

T.S. Eliot (The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock)










3. Cartoonist

Don Stewart is a doctor from Birmingham who gave up the scalpel for a ball-point pen. He proceeded to spend a large portion of his career drawing intricate pictures of basically anything, with a large focus on ‘visual humour’. After successfully demonstrating to the world that he could draw for 27 years, he returned to medical work in 2013, to the great disappointment of all his fans. However, he explained that there were also patients out there that needed him. Good on you, Dr. Stewart!

This is one of Don Stewart’s works – it’s called ‘Blood Vessel’ and is apparently a little vessel which is well equipped for navigating through pulsatile waves with a full load of RBCs. Sweet as.

4. Photography

The Emeritus Professor of Surgery at University of Winsconsin School of Medicine and Public Health is also a pretty rad photographer, apparently. You can see his some of his works at this link: Something to live up to for all you happy snappers.

A stunning shot by the Professor.










5. Singing

I left this until last because really, you shouldn’t go into singing unless you are actually good at it. By that I mean, either get some singing lessons, or don’t do it, because your only clients will be from the sign language school down the road. If you have any clients at all, that is.

However, despite the obvious difficulty of this art, some medicos have indeed mastered the impossible and made it as quite successful singers. One such example is Dr. Cleve Francis, who is a cardiologist by day and country singer by night.

He apparently sips merlot to get into character before a gig.

Having demonstrated to you the world of possibility away from the left hemisphere* my dear medical student, I hope now that you have learned a few new ways to express your creative side while also doing your bit to help the world. There are about a million ways to impact the world positively and being a doctor happens to be just one of them.

*of the brain


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ISSN (Print): 1837-171X
ISSN (Online): 1837-1728
ABN: 51967802511