May 27, 2019
As a dentist, you probably often think - If I wasn’t a dentist, would I have become a doctor? But what if you were neither a dentist nor a doctor? These three dentists (or dentists who could have been) made history not always for their dental skills.
Perhaps the most famous name on this list. This Old West dentist is renowned for his legendary gunfight at the O.K Corral with his buddy, Wyatt Earp. The many portrayals of Doc Holliday in Hollywood movies over the decades have made him a household name in American Western folklore, but not many know that Holliday was a trained dentist who owned a thriving practice which he had to close because he contracted tuberculosis.
After figuring out that he probably had months left to live, he packed his bags and moved west, and the rest is history.
Despite his antics with the law, Holliday died peacefully in his sleep at a ripe old age of 35, a whopping 17 years after he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. How’s that for a life well lived?
Well known Olympic champion swimmer, Mark “The Shark” Spitz was actually accepted into Dental School before becoming an Olympic Gold medalist. It's safe to say he made the right choice not to pursue dentistry, considering he held the world record for gold medals for 36 years after winning 7 at the 1972 Munich Games. His record was only recently broken by fellow American Michael Phelps who won 8 gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Dipak Nanalal Chudasama
Another dentist-turned-sports athlete, Chudasama was an Kenyan cricket player from Indian origin born in Mombasa, Kenya. Interestingly, he was also nicknamed The Doc (no relation to Doc Holliday) because he was a certified orthodontist.
Chudasama made his cricketing debut in 1980 and subsequently represented Kenya in the 1996 World Cup. He went on to play in twenty One Day International matches.
After concluding his career as a professional cricket player, Chudasama returned to dentistry, relocating to the USA, and took a role as a lecturer in Orthodontics at Jacksonville University before later opening a practice in Coppell, Texas.