Young people often ask Charles Krauthammer how they can become a syndicated columnist. He’s given the same answer for 30 years: “First, go to medical school.”
It worked for him. Krauthammer was 21 years old when he left Oxford, where he was studying John Stuart Mill, for Harvard Medical School. Why the move? Medicine appealed to him then in a way politics could not.
“Medicine promised not only moral certainty (is anything as unarguably good as healing?), but intellectual certainty, a hardness to the truth, something not found in the universe of politics,” he wrote in the introduction to his first collection, Cutting Edges (1985), now out of print.
Krauthammer practiced medicine for three years, rising to the position of chief resident in psychiatry at Massachusetts General, before leaving for Washington in 1978. A mentor had accepted a job in the Carter administration and asked him to come along. Like so many who move to the capital assuming their stay will be brief, Krauthammer never left.
About the Author
Matthew Continetti is editor in chief of the Washington Free Beacon.