Hugh Laurie was Doctor House on House M.D. for 8 seasons, from 2004 to 2012 and then he starred in Chance, as a physician from 2016-2017. He has openly spoken about his father being a physician, and how his father would have hated that Laurie took shortcuts. He is also open that deciding not to pursue medicine is a source of guilt for him, but he has not stopped acting--nor has he stopped making music.
For anyone who does not know Laurie outside of House M.D., he's a musician who plays harmonica, drums, saxophone, piano, and guitar, as well as a singer. He is still active as an actor as well, currently playing a role in Avenue 5.
How Many Years Does Medical School Take?
So the math to figure out how many years it takes to become a physician works out like this:
4 years of medical school3 years of residency, minimumand addiotional years if you want to specialize in a field like pediatrics or ortho, etc.
So to become a regular physician, you'd need seven years. Hugh Laurie has played a doctor for ten years, and would probably even qualify for a fellowship to specialize in the same field as Doctor House. Though it certainly wouldn't have been as dramatic; and that bedside manner would have certainly gotten him fired.
What is a Diagnostician?
So the character Doctor House was the Head of Diagnostics and considered to be a 'diagnostician'. However many people have no idea what that really means. Dr. House canonically had a double specialty in infectious disease and nephrology.
Infectious disease is the specialty that's easier to guess because the name is super simple. Infectious disease specialties focus on how diseases are transmitted, containment, and diagnosis among other things.
Nephrology, on the other hand, is not immediately as clear cut. This means the "study of the kidney". From kidney function to diseased kidneys, etc.
So, our favorite drug-addicted physician was a master of infectious diseases and anything to do with the kidney. But surely there's more to it, right?
A diagnostician requires the person to not only have a teaching degree (to teach medicine) but to also have a minimum of two years as an accredited teacher, full-time.
So it's unlikely Hugh would have been able to become a diagnostician like House in just ten years. Primarily because he double-specialized.
Regardless, that will never take away from the glory that was Doctor House. Hugh Laurie was the only person I could see in that role, and no matter how aggressive and mean House was, he'll always be a favored character in my book.