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Contrary to what you might think, English majors are well-suited to careers as medical doctors.  Their experience interpreting literature, for example, prepares them to understand a wide swath of human experience.  This capacity for empathy is of great value to their work as physicians.  Their background in linguistics and writing can also make them skillful communicators with patients, families, and medical personnel.  In addition, English majors are well prepared to excel on the verbal and analytical problem-solving portions of the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test).  Recognizing the importance of English Studies to medicine, a number of medical schools and residencies have incorporated ‘narrative medicine’ within their clinical training.  In such programs, medical students and physicians discuss poems, short stories, and essays in relation to patient care—activities that have yielded positive outcomes for both patients and doctors.

English majors make good physicians because they . . .

  • Can interpret people and situations
  • Empathize with different perspectives
  • Creatively problem-solve
  • Have strong reading skills
  • Are sensitive to cross-cultural communication dynamics
  • Understand the human condition
<a href=";showinfo=0">Watch A Day in the Life with Primary Care Physician Marlon Joseph, MD YouTube Video</a>


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<a href=";showinfo=0">Watch Medical Humanities YouTube Video</a>