Most Popular Celebrities With a Medical Degree

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Most Popular Celebrities With a Medical Degree
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

The celebrities we know and love are often associated with Hollywood’s glamour. We often think of actors, actresses, and other celebrities as struggling artists who’ve only focused on their acting, singing, or other entertainment careers. 

Many celebrities lived entirely different lives before entering the entertainment industry. Some pursued careers in the culinary field, business, law, and more. But, a few have impressive academic careers and medical degrees. Whether they ever looked for nurse practitioner jobs or not, here are some of the most famous celebrities with a medical degree. 

Michael Crichton 

Michael Crichton attended one of the most prestigious medical schools before he became an actor in “Jurassic Park.” He went to Harvard Medical School, and while he did graduate with his degree, he ultimately pursued a writing career, over medicine. 

His background from medical school heavily influenced Michael’s writing throughout his career. As the creator of the show “ER,” he was able to bring real-life, scientifically accurate detail to the show and all his other stories. 

Lisa Kudrow 

Lisa Kudrow might have the most interesting educational background before she finally made her way to acting. She’s known for her roles in “Friends,” “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion.” Lisa earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Vassar College. 

After earning her degree, she went to work for her dad, where she could put her biology degree to good use. She used her degree to help study the association between left-handed people and cluster headaches before gracing our TVs as “Phoebe Buffay.” While we’re sure she would’ve excelled in that career path, we’re glad she chose acting. 

Ken Jeong

If the name Ken Jeong sounds familiar, it’s probably because you recognize the name from all three “The Hangover” movies. Long before his fame and success in Hollywood, he was a physician. He attended a great medical school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and eventually completed his internal medicine residency at Oschner Medical Center. 


Being a physician is a great career, so what made Ken give it all up to become an actor and comedian? During his residency in New Orleans, he decided to start doing stand-up comedy for fun but ultimately decided that comedy and acting were his calling. 

Mayim Bialik

If you’ve seen “Blossom” or “The Big Bang Theory,” you know who Mayim Bialik is. Even though she’s always had one foot out the door to the path to acting, she also had grand educational goals. Much like her character, Dr. Amy, on The Big Bang Theory, she studied neuroscience. 

Mayim attended UCLA, where she earned her PhD in Neuroscience. Her dissertation focused on a genetic disorder known as Prader-Willi syndrome. Her educational background helped her portray the character she’s best known for. 

Graham Chapman

When you see a comedian performing, the last thing on your mind is probably what they studied in college or if they ever went. Most people know Graham Chapman from Monty Python, but he’s also incredibly intelligent outside of comedy. 

Graham is similar to Ken Jeong in that he ended up in comedy over medicine. He studied medicine at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and St. Bartholomew’s Medical College. Even though he’s not a physician, his medical knowledge has prompted many of his comedy sketches and influenced his humor. 

Dr. Phil

This last one might be obvious thanks to everyone knowing him by “doctor.” Dr. Phil was always planning on studying psychology and went on to get his PhD in psychology from the University of North Texas. 


Before rising to stardom, he had a psychology practice in Texas. He’s one of the celebrities with a medical degree, where he more obviously uses his education in his current career. His famous talk show allows him to use his skills when talking with all his guests. It might not be an exact match to what he thought he’d do for the rest of his life, but he’s still found great success. 

The celebrities in Hollywood are more than just what we see on our screens. So many have unique educational backgrounds that have nothing to do with acting, singing, music, or anything else in the entertainment industry. These celebrities who studied medicine or another medical specialty show that they’re more than meets the eye. 

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