The average medical student graduates with about $100,000 in student loans – enough to leave most new physicians singing the blues. But David White, M.D., is getting paid for his tunes. The 1995 School of Medicine graduate not only is a physician, he also is a successful songwriter with DreamWorks Music Publishing, Inc., the Nashville-based music division of Steven Spielberg’s entertainment giant DreamWorks SKG.
As a youth growing up in Plano, Texas, Dr. White taught himself guitar by copying old James Taylor records and later picked up piano. Over the years he developed his own musical style from a diverse variety of influences including jazz, classical, country and rock.
After completing a pediatrics residency at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, Dr. White joined Brentwood Children’s Clinic and began work as a general pediatrician and an attending physician at Vanderbilt. He also hoped his music and lyrics would be heard in a town populated by thousands of songwriters.
As a result of years of hard work, patience and many well-received performances at Nashville’s legendary "Bluebird Cafe," Dr. White finally landed a writing deal with DreamWorks.
"I have always felt that medicine is a great way to spend a life, because it affords so many opportunities to help people in need. However, for reasons far beyond my understanding, God was gracious enough to also give me some musical gifts. I wrestled for years with which one of these paths I should pursue. In the end, the answer was quite simple: Why not do both?
"As a result of this rather unorthodox decision, my typical week is kind of unusual, going from hospital rounds to the studio, from the clinic to a performance. It is challenging, demanding and fun all at the same time. I’m thankful for every day and I feel very lucky and very blessed."
While Dr. David White’s name may eventually become legendary in country music, he is already a hero to hundreds of children in the Nashville area who receive care at his clinic. He also is living proof that it is possible to live out not one, but two, of your greatest dreams.
UT Health Science Center
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