Tom George

The Doctor Makes It Clear He’s Definitely In

Dome Magazine, 2/16/09

Sen. Tom George could become the first Michigan governor not to have an undergraduate diploma to hang on his wall since Luren Dickenson in 1939. But the Kalamazoo Republican would still need a place in his office for his stethoscope and scrubs.

Yes, if elected in 2010, George, 52, would be the first physician to occupy the governor’s mansion.

How this happened is a little twist of fate. The year was 1978 and George couldn’t wait to go to medical school. So the University of Michigan junior didn’t.

“I read the catalogue for (U of M’s) medical school. It said you needed 90 undergraduate credits — it didn’t say you needed a degree,” he says. “So I applied.” “It used to be common at the turn of the century,” he adds.

He realized saving an extra year of tuition and expenses would help, as George was the oldest of seven in his tight-knit Roman Catholic family from Flint (“I’m from the city. Unlike Michael Moore, who says he’s from the city, but he’s really from Mt. Morris or something,” he grins.)

So four years later, George walked away with an M.D., but still credits shy of that B.S. in zoology. Last year, the anesthesiologist started thinking about going back for his bachelor’s degree and even made some calls to U of M, but it looks like his quest to be the Wolverine State’s next CEO has intervened.

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