Bill Gates
Source: Getty Images

Bill Gates Doesn’t Have a Medical Education but He’s Big Into Medicine

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Feb. 9 2021, Published 2:23 p.m. ET

Billionaire Bill Gates doesn’t have a medical education or even a full college education for that matter. However, the Microsoft co-founder has made public health one of his philanthropic priorities. At one time, he was ranked as the World Health Organization’s second-biggest donor.

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“Achieving health equity in our lifetime, it’s not just a possibility,” Gates said in a 2018 keynote speech, according to The Motley Fool. “It’s almost an imperative, because everyone deserves a chance to live a healthy and productive life.”

Did Bill Gates go to college?

Gates went to college at Harvard University in 1973 but dropped out after two years to start Microsoft with Paul Allen, a high school classmate. According to NPR, Gates originally planned to major in pre-law but soon switched gears and enrolled in the school’s toughest mathematics and computer science courses.

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bill gates
Source: Getty Images

In a 2018 Q&A with Harvard students, the billionaire expressed one regret about his brief time in college. “Well, I wish I had been more sociable,” he said, according to CNBC. “I wish I had gotten to know more people. I was just so into being good at the classes and taking lots of classes.”

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Steve Ballmer, Gates’ successor as the CEO of Microsoft, was at Harvard at the same time and helped Gates get into an exclusive social club.

“I was so antisocial, I never would have even known [the social clubs] existed, but Steve Ballmer decided I needed to have some exposure to, I guess, drinking,” Gates told the crowd at the Q&A. “He got me punched through the Fox Club. So, I would go to those events, and that was highly educational. … You know, it worked out in the end. But I missed a lot.”

Does Bill Gates have a medical education?

Gates doesn't have a medical education, although medicine and public health are focus points for his philanthropic efforts with his wife, Melinda. The couple’s Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation spun off the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute in 2018, with goals to “eradicate malaria, accelerate the end of the tuberculosis epidemic, and end diarrheal deaths in children,” according to a fact sheet

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Bill Gates has honorary degrees

According to his profile at The Conversation, Gates has received several honorary doctorates, including ones from Harvard University, Cambridge University, Nyenrode Business Universiteit in Breukelen, The Netherlands, the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.

Bill Gates’ daughter is getting a medical degree.

After graduating from Stanford University, Jennifer Gates—the Gates' older daughter—enrolled at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City with an eye toward becoming a pediatrician or a family practitioner.

“I was born into a huge situation of privilege,” she recently told Sidelines. “I think it’s about using those opportunities and learning from them to find things that I’m passionate about and hopefully make the world a little bit of a better place.”

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