Fascinating True Stories From the Flip Side of History

On the Web Since 1994

Podcasting Since January 2008

Becomes Doctor after 45 Years

It was reported on September 9, 1973, that August S. Claus, a pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Fresno, California became a medical doctor after 45 years of part-time study.

Why did it take him so long?  Very simple: Lack of money.  When World War I ended, runaway inflation made the dream of attending medical school in his native Germany at the time.  Instead, he chose to accept a scholarship to a German seminary.  

But he kept reading medical journals and studying in his spare time.  He then emigrated to the United States, accepting a position as a pastor in a small Nebraska congregation.  When the Great Depression hit, the church cut off his salary and he needed to get a part-time job to survive.

He finally ended up in California and resumed his medical studies part-time at the University of Southern California – USC.  He finally completed his medical degree with a three-month residency at the College of Medical Science in England – 45 years after he started studying medicine.

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