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Careers in Medicine and Healthcare

English teaches essential skills like connection, empathy, and creative thinking…

How does an English degree lead to a career in Health? Ask one of our MD alumni, or join us for a “Health Humanities” conversation in Fall of 2023 through courses, events, and alumni mentoring sessions. Choose from classes like Disability and Literature (English 254), Medicine and Literature (English 342), Horses in Literature and Culture (English 398), a graduate-level Disability Studies in Literature course (590), or classes in gender and sexuality, like English 332, 402, or 425. The UT Humanities Center will be hosting a “Health Humanities” symposium from Nov. 1-3. Check back for event details on our website.

Interviews with Alumni in the Field

Leigh Ball

English Major to Sleep Medicine: Dr. Leigh Ball’s Career Path

Dr. Leigh Ball uses her English degree to improve patient care.

Carolyn Thompson

From English to MD: Carolyn Thompson

The English-student-to-physician pathway is less rare than one might think—medicine, after all, is highly creative.


There’s an art and a science to medicine: premed courses deal with the scientific dimension of illness, while English the interactive, creative side. Medicine, after all, is highly creative. In surgery, for instance, “everything you do changes something, and you have to be prepared to deal with that change in circumstance.” No wonder medical schools want students with the nuanced, supple intelligence that English studies cultivates.

—from an article highlighting English Major Dr. Carolyn Thompson (’88)