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Seriously. Get your M.D. and be a doctor. Do you know how many doctors have also become great writers of fiction and non-fiction? Many, many.

And an English major’s writing skills can be useful to a doctor as well:

Physicians actually write all the time too…. The case history, or progress note, is the basic unit of medical practice; it’s something doctors work on constantly, and students learn from the first year to see a patient, hear her story, distill it into a chief complaint or main narrative, and write it down. It’s not unlike the process of writing fiction, Lam says: “The art of figuring out the medical narrative is, on one hand, to be very intuitive, instinctual, open, and expansive, and, on the other hand, to be very reductionist.”

While practicing medicine may help the aspiring author gain greater writing skills, the act of writing may help the doctor become a better one. Adrian, who set out first to study medicine and says he discovered writing as a detour along the way, thinks it’s good for physicians to spend time in other people’s heads “even if it’s in a deranged, imaginative way.”

College students who find themselves equally drawn to literature and sciences may want to think about an English major with a Biochemistry or Biology minor. Also interesting to note that many medical schools include a humanities or “literature and medicine” course as a required elective in the curriculum.

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