Both a medical career and a writing career require a great deal of devotion, not to mention time and talent. Yet Majmudar is hardly the only doctor to also become a successful writer. Nicholas A. Basbanes mentions a number of them in his book Every Book Its Reader. Some may surprise you. John Keats became a licensed surgeon before turning his full attention to poetry. Anton Chekhov once called medicine his "legal wife," while referring to writing as his mistress, Today his medical practice is all but forgotten. His patients are all dead, while his short stories and plays live on.
Other writing doctors mentioned by Basbanes include John Locke, Tobias Smollett, Oliver Goldsmith, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Mikhail Bulgakov, W. Somerset Maugham and, more recently, Oliver Sacks, Lewis Thomas, Michael Crichton and Ethan Canin.
Some doctors turned writers were not particularly successful doctors. Arthur Conan Doyle is one of these. He had few patients, which gave him plenty of time to write. Soon writing proved much more profitable than medicine.
Basbanes doesn't even mention A.J. Cronin, who had a thriving medical practice in London before developing an ulcer. His own doctor advised rest, and it was during his time off that he wrote a novel, which became a bestseller. He preferred writing, which was also less stressful, and he soon gave up medicine.
Other doctors who became famous as writers include William Carlos Williams, Robin Cook, Walker Percy, Khaled Hosseini, Abraham Verghese, Tess Gerritsen and dozens of others whose names are less recognizable. Gertrude Stein dropped out of medical school or she could be added to the list.
Perhaps we should not be surprised that highly intelligent people should be able to succeed in more than one arena. Yet somehow it just doesn't seem fair.