5 Things You Didn’t Know About Michael Crichton


Wait, this is a website dedicated to physicians, right? You’re probably asking what Michael Crichton has to do with the medical field, but don’t worry, I’ll get to that shortly. You might recognize Crichton’s name. His most popular novel, The Lost World went on to spawn the Jurassic Park movie franchise that would generate millions of dollars in revenue. What you might not have known is, prior to his career as a novelist, he graduated from Harvard Medical School and went on to become a very successful doctor as well. Before scaring the life out of readers with his novels like Congo and State of Fear, Crichton intended to save the lives of others before opting for a writing career. Below are just a few other facts you might not have known about Mr. Crichton.

Master of science and dinosaurs, Michael Crichton

He turned his medical experience into 23 Primetime Emmys

After his success as a novelist, Crichton would go on to try his hand at screenwriting. Little did he know, his first attempt at writing original material for television would spawn one of the biggest TV hits in the history of the silver screen? The show, ER was based off of the time he spent as a resident in a busy emergency room. Coproduced by Steven Spielberg, the show would become major stepping-stones for famous actors and actresses like George Clooney and Juliana Margulies. The series has won 116 industry awards during its lifespan.

Michael Crichton used his medical experience to create the hit TV show ER

He wrote under a pseudonym

During his time studying and practicing medicine, Crichton published a handful of books under various pseudonyms. In reference to his height, while in medical school, he began writing novels under the pen names “John Lange” and “Jeffrey Hudson.” (Lange means “tall” in German, and Jeffrey Hudson was a famous 17th century dwarf). Crichton says he wrote under a pseudonym so his patients wouldn’t think that he was writing about them. He later described his Lange books in the following way: “My feeling about the Lange books is that my competition is in-flight movies. One can read the books in an hour and a half, and be more satisfactorily amused than watching Doris Day. I write them fast and the reader reads them fast and I get things off my back.”

He didn’t just write about sci-fi and dinosaurs

 Aside from writing hits like Jurrasic Park and Sci-Fi thrillers like The Andromeda Strain, Crichton authored and coauthored a variety of books including Five Patients, a true account of his hospital residency and an early outline for what would become the ER series. He also authored Electronic Life, which was a basic programing guide to readers and became a manual when making any decisions regarding electronics. Travels detail his transitions from the medical profession to a full-time author.

He gave some very notable speeches

 One of his most famous and controversial speeches came when he made an appearance at a debate titled Global Warming is Not a Crisis arguing that Global Warming was not as prevalent as the media made it appear. Crichton argued that most of the media and attention of the general public are being dedicated to the uncertain anthropogenic global warming scares instead of the more urgent issues like poverty. Crichton would also make speeches regarding changes in scientific policy as well as revision to the genetic research process.

Author: Troy Diffenderfer

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