Johns Hopkins Hospital co-founder William Osler was also an avid historian. He redefined medical education with his emphasis on clinical experience and his book The Principles and Practice of Medicine. Born to a missionary father in Canada, he was to follow in his father’s footsteps but decided to study medicine instead.
A qualified doctor, Christian Jessen holds a degree in sexual health and has also worked extensively on areas such as HIV. He became a household name after appearing on TV shows such as Embarrassing Bodies. The gay physician has also appeared on non-medical reality shows, such as Ready Steady Cook.
Leonid Rogozov was a Soviet general practitioner remembered for performing his own appendectomy as he developed appendicitis while stationed at Novolazarevskaya Station; he was part of the sixth Soviet Antarctic Expedition in 1961 when he developed appendicitis. The self-surgery, which was documented by Rogozov’s colleagues, resulted in a change of policy and health checks were made mandatory during such expeditions.
Sixteenth-century German scholar Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa was known for his expertise in philosophy and the occult. He also taught at the universities of Pavia and Dôle. His De occulta philosophia suggested magic as a way to reach God. He was eventually branded a heretic and imprisoned.
A pioneer of physical anthropology, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach laid down one of the first racial classification systems for humans after studying human skulls, dividing mankind into five racial groups. Born into a family of academics, he was a prodigy. He was against scientific racism, though his theory promoted the degenerative hypothesis.
10 Hans Sloane
British doctor Hans Sloane traveled to Jamaica as a personal physician of the 2nd duke of Albermarle and was soon engrossed in the natural species of the region. He documented his collections, and they eventually helped form the British Museum. He is also known as the inventor of drinking chocolate.
11 Saint Blaise
Former WHO director-general and one of Forbes’s most powerful women, Margaret Chan was both applauded and criticized for her decision to cull Hong Kong’s entire poultry stock in 3 days to control the H5N1 virus in 1997. She was also in charge during the 2003 SARS outbreak in the city.
Willem Einthoven was a Dutch physiologist and physician whose invention of the electrocardiogram in 1895 earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1924. He is also credited with theorizing the existence of Einthoven's triangle, which is named in his honor.
Antonia Novello became the first female and the first person of Hispanic origin to become the U.S. surgeon general. Initially a pediatric nephrologist, she later switched to Public Health Service, after realizing she was too emotional to be a pediatrician. The Puerto Rican physician was also a UNICEF representative.
Bidhan Chandra Roy was an Indian educationist, physician, statesman, philanthropist, and freedom fighter. Widely regarded as the chief designer of modern West Bengal, Roy founded several institutions and four cities in the state. He also served as West Bengal's chief minister from 1948 to 1962. In 1961, Bidhan Chandra Roy was honored with India's highest civilian award, The Bharat Ratna.
18 Ran Laurie
19 Robert Lanza
Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, once the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, India, was known for his commitment to farmers. A qualified doctor, he initially worked as a medical officer and launched a hospital, too. He died in a tragic helicopter crash in the Nallamala Hills, along with 4 others on board.
21 Hans Rosling
A Swedish physician, academic, and public speaker, Hans Rosling was the co-founder of Gapminder Foundation, that is known for the development the Trendalyzer software system. He gave several talks/lectures, presented television documentaries like Don’t Panic: The Truth about Population and also co-authored a bestselling book titled Factfulness. Additionally, he was a professor of international health at Karolinska Institute too.
Apart from being a qualified physician, Frederick Cook was also a passionate explorer. He was initially the surgeon on explorer Robert E. Peary’s team. He later created controversy by conflicting with Peary, saying it was him and not Peary who had first explored the North Pole, though his claims were denounced.
The son of a preacher, economist Nicholas Barbon actively participated in reconstructing London following the Great Fire of 1666 and then launched his own insurance company, pioneering fire insurance. As an economist, he penned significant works on the free market and division of labor. He was also a qualified doctor.
24 Paul Schäfer
Paul Schäfer Schneide was a Nazi era German colonel, who at the end of WWII founded an orphanage in West Germany. Charged with child molestation, he fled to Chile, where he established an isolated colony. But charged with child abuse, he had to flee once more before being arrested and convicted on twenty-five counts. He died while serving his term.
26 Hans Münch
27 Ed Roberts
28 Gabor Maté
29 Alan L. Hart
30 Hua Tuo
Born to a poor fur dealer, Conrad Gessner was sent to study under an uncle who dealt in medicinal herbs. He then studied theology but later grew up to become a Renaissance polymath, excelling in subjects such as natural history and medicine. His Bibliotheca universalis remains a major work in bibliography.
32 Peter Attia
33 Leonard Wood
Eighteenth-century German physician Johann Friedrich Struensee was the official physician of King Christian VII of Denmark, who was mentally unstable. He later started dominating the court and also began an affair with Queen Caroline Matilda. In spite of introducing several reforms, he was eventually beheaded, following a coup.
German biologist and eugenicist Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer was an advocate of racial hygiene and the mandatory sterilization of the physically and mentally disabled. He also led the Nazi experiments on twins based on body parts made available to him from the inmates of various concentration camps.
41 Hedy Fry
Born in Kolkata, India, Bhasha Mukherjee moved to England as a 9-year-old kid. She later not only acquired a medical degree but also won the Miss England 2019 pageant, and later represented England at the Miss World contest. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, she returned to medical practice.
43 Earle Page
Country Party leader Earle Page was not just Australia’s minister of health and commerce but had also been its prime minister for 19 days, after the death of prime minister Joseph Lyons. His efforts to bring about a comprehensive national health plan was appreciated by all. He was also knighted.
44 Emin Pasha
Eduard Schnitzer, or Emin Pasha, was born into a German Jewish family in modern-day Poland. A qualified physician, he moved to Constantinople after being disqualified in Germany. He not only served the Ottoman rulers but also surveyed and explored Africa extensively. He was eventually killed by Arab slave raiders.
The current president of Switzerland and FDP.The Liberals politician, Ignazio Cassis is also a qualified doctor of internal medicine, who has previously led the Swiss Medical Association as its vice president. He is also fluent in German, French, and Italian, and was initially an Italian citizen.
British-American William Thornton was initially trained in medicine and that is when he began drawing and sketching as part of his medical notes. He later won a contest for the design of the Library Company of Philadelphia's new hall. He also designed the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Maja Einstein is remembered as Albert Einstein’s younger sister and only sibling. After acquiring a Ph.D. in romance languages and literature from Bern, Switzerland, she got married. However, at the beginning of World War II, she fled to the U.S. and remained estranged from her husband till her death.
48 Paul Rée
German author and philosopher Paul Rée, whose writings influenced much of his friend Friedrich Nietzsche’s works, was born to affluent Jewish parents. While he initially studied philosophy and law, Rée later became a physician. He died while hiking on the Swiss Alps, though some feel he had committed suicide.