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Who are the most influential thinkers in world?

Identify leaders in your chosen discipline, research top professors in your area of study, and search for schools based on the luminaries who most inspire you!

Note: These rankings change dynamically as our artificial intelligence system learns new things and incorporates new publications and citations. Academics are constantly doing research and publishing new insights, with the result that our measure of influence is subject to continual adjustments. For quality assurance reasons, however, we forgo real-time changes, with most public updates happening only quarterly. In any case, don’t be surprised to see our rankings change over time.

Methodology: How and Why We Rank by Influence …

Gender designations here are based off data sourced from Wikidata.

About our data on gender

List of the most influential people in Medical, for the years 2010 – 2020

Andrew Wakefield
# 1
Andrew Wakefield

1957 - Present (64 years)

#6511 person's overall influence

Andrew Jeremy Wakefield is a discredited British ex-physician best known for a fraudulent 1998 study that falsely claimed a link between the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and autism, and for his subsequent anti-vaccination activism. Publicity around the study caused a sharp decline in vaccination uptake, leading to a number of outbreaks of measles around the world.

Diana Zuckerman
# 2
Diana Zuckerman

1950 - Present (71 years)

#20814 person's overall influence

Diana M. Zuckerman is currently President of both the National Center for Health Research and the Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund, non-profit organizations located in Washington, DC.

David Gorski
# 3
David Gorski
#3535 person's overall influence

David Henry Gorski is an American surgical oncologist, professor of surgery at Wayne State University School of Medicine, and a surgical oncologist at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, specializing in breast cancer surgery. He is an outspoken skeptic, and a critic of alternative medicine and the anti-vaccination movement. He is the author of a blog, Respectful Insolence, and the managing editor of the website Science-Based Medicine.

Sanjay Gupta
# 4
Sanjay Gupta

1969 - Present (52 years)

#9242 person's overall influence

Sanjay Gupta is an American neurosurgeon, medical reporter, and writer. He serves as associate chief of the neurosurgery service at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, and as associate professor of neurosurgery at the Emory University School of Medicine and Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN.

Paul A. Offit
# 5
Paul A. Offit

1951 - Present (70 years)

#6409 person's overall influence

Paul Allan Offit is an American pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases, vaccines, immunology, and virology. He is the co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine. Offit is the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology, Professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Former Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases , and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He has been a member of the Centers for Disease Control Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Offit is a Board Member of Every...

Joanne Liu
# 6
Joanne Liu

1965 - Present (56 years)

#115436 person's overall influence

Joanne Liu is a former International President of Médecins sans frontières, or as it is more commonly known, Doctors Without Borders, Associate Professor of Medicine for the University of Montreal, Professor of Clinical Medicine at McGill University, and a pediatric emergency doctor. She graduated with her M.D. from McGill University, a C.M. degree at the Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine, and an international master’s in health leadership from McGill University.

Atul Gawande
# 7
Atul Gawande

1965 - Present (56 years)

#10893 person's overall influence

Atul Gawande is an American surgeon, writer, and public health researcher. He practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Samuel O. Thier Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. In public health, he is executive director of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation, and chairman of Lifebox, a nonprofit that works on reducing deaths in surgery globally. On June 20, 2018, Gawande was named the ...

Mehmet Öz
# 8
Mehmet Öz

1960 - Present (61 years)

#12756 person's overall influence

Mehmet Cengiz Öz , known professionally as Dr. Oz, is a Turkish-American television personality, cardiothoracic surgeon, Columbia University professor, pseudoscience promoter, journalist, and author. In 2003, Oprah Winfrey was the first guest on the Discovery Channel series Second Opinion with Dr. Oz, and, since 2004, Oz became a regular guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, making more than sixty appearances. In 2009, The Dr. Oz Show, a daily television program focusing on medical issues and personal health, was launched by Winfrey's Harpo Productions and Sony Pictures Television.

Steven Novella
# 9
Steven Novella

1964 - Present (57 years)

#4374 person's overall influence

Steven Paul Novella is an American clinical neurologist and assistant professor at Yale University School of Medicine. Novella is best known for his involvement in the skeptical movement. He is also a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and GWUP.

Thomas E. Starzl
# 10
Thomas E. Starzl

1926 - 2017 (91 years)

#8465 person's overall influence

Thomas Earl Starzl was an American physician, researcher, and expert on organ transplants. He performed the first human liver transplants, and has often been referred to as "the father of modern transplantation." A documentary, entitled "Burden of Genius," covering the medical and scientific advances spearheaded by Starzl himself, was released to the public in 2017 in a series of screenings.

Oliver Sacks
# 11
Oliver Sacks

1933 - 2015 (82 years)

#1602 person's overall influence

Oliver Wolf Sacks, was a British neurologist, naturalist, historian of science, and author. Born in Britain, and mostly educated there, he spent his career in the United States. He believed that the brain is the "most incredible thing in the universe". He became widely known for writing best-selling case histories about both his patients' and his own disorders and unusual experiences, with some of his books adapted for plays by major playwrights, feature films, animated short films, opera, dance, fine art, and musical works in the classical genre.

Anand Rai
# 12
Anand Rai

1977 - Present (44 years)

#109297 person's overall influence

Dr. Anand Rai is an Indian activist, medical officer and ophthalmologist. He is best known for exposing the Vyapam scam. The Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board , also known by its Hindi acronym "Vyapam", is responsible for conducting several examinations that are used to select candidates for educational institutes and government jobs. A nexus of politicians, MPPEB officials and middlemen carried out massive irregularities in these exams, allowing undeserving candidates to be selected.

# 13
Bruce Keogh

1954 - Present (67 years)

#87457 person's overall influence

Sir Bruce Edward Keogh, KBE, FRCS, FRCP is a Zimbabwean-born British surgeon who specialises in cardiac surgery. He was Medical Director of the National Health Service in England from 2007 and National Medical Director of the NHS Commissioning Board from 2013 until his retirement early in 2018. He is Chair of Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust.

# 14
Zulfiqar Bhutta

1955 - Present (66 years)

#113458 person's overall influence

Zulfiqar A. Bhutta trained as a physician in Pakistan in the early stages of his career. He holds titles across various organizations in diverse geographies. Professor Bhutta is the Founding Director of the Center of Excellence in Women and Child Health & Institute for Global Child Health & Development, at the Aga Khan University South-Central Asia, East Africa & United Kingdom. He is currently the Co-Director at the Centre for Global Child Health, at the Hospital for Sick Children and leads many projects as a Senior Scientist at the Research Institute in the Centre for Global Child Health at

Liam Donaldson
# 15
Liam Donaldson

1949 - Present (72 years)

#16920 person's overall influence

Sir Liam Joseph Donaldson is a British doctor. He was formerly the Chief Medical Officer for England, being the 15th occupant of the post since it was established in 1855. As such, he was principal advisor to the United Kingdom Government on health matters and one of the most senior officials in the National Health Service .

Harriet A. Hall
# 16
Harriet A. Hall

1945 - Present (76 years)

#15655 person's overall influence

Harriet A. Hall is a U.S. retired family physician, former U.S. Air Force flight surgeon and skeptic who writes about alternative medicine and quackery for Skeptic and Skeptical Inquirer. She writes under the name The SkepDoc.

# 17
Ketan Desai

1957 - Present (64 years)

#138578 person's overall influence

Dr. Ketan Desai is the former president of Medical Council of India and the President 2016 of the World Medical Association. He has served as Head of Urology department at B.J. Medical College, Ahmedabad. He is currently a member of Gujarat Medical Council.

David Colquhoun
# 18
David Colquhoun

1936 - Present (85 years)

#5083 person's overall influence

David Colquhoun is a British pharmacologist at University College London . He has contributed to the general theory of receptor and synaptic mechanisms, and in particular the theory and practice of single ion channel function. He held the A.J. Clark chair of Pharmacology at UCL from 1985 to 2004, and was the Hon. Director of the Wellcome Laboratory for Molecular Pharmacology. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1985 and an honorary fellow of UCL in 2004. Colquhoun runs the website DC's Improbable Science, which is critical of pseudoscience, particularly alternative medicine, a...

# 19
Johann Malawana
#112516 person's overall influence

Johann Malawana is a British doctor, social entrepreuner and founder of The Healthcare Leadership Academy and Medics.Academy. Malawana formerly practised as an obstetrician and was Chair of the British Medical Association's Junior Doctors Committee from September 2015 to July 2016. Malawana's leadership of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee occurred during the 2015 junior doctors contract dispute in England, and he led junior doctors into industrial action, striking over pay and conditions for the first time since 1975.

# 20
James Andrews

1942 - Present (79 years)

James Andrews M.D. is an American orthopedic surgeon. He is a surgeon for knee, elbow, and shoulder injuries and is a specialist in repairing damaged ligaments. Practicing in Alabama, Andrews has become one of the best-known and most popular orthopedic surgeons and has performed on many high-profile athletes. He also is the team doctor for the Alabama Crimson Tide, Tampa Bay Rays, Auburn University Tigers, and Washington Football Team.

Shinya Yamanaka
# 21
Shinya Yamanaka

1962 - Present (59 years)

#5133 person's overall influence

Shinya Yamanaka is the director of Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (iPS – induced Pluripotent Stem Cell), senior investigator for the J. David Gladstone Institutes, a professor for Kyoto University’s Institute for Frontier Medical Services, and a professor of anatomy for the University of California at San Francisco. He studied at Osaka Kyoiku University before earning his M.D. at Kobe University and his Ph.D. from Osaka City University Graduate School. He completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at National Osaka Hospital and a postdoctoral fellowship for the J. David Gladston

# 22
Graeme Catto

1945 - Present (76 years)

#31647 person's overall influence

Sir Graeme Robertson Dawson Catto FRSE, Hon FRCSE, FRCP, FRCGP, FFPM, FMedSci FKC is a Scottish doctor who was President, later Chair, of the General Medical Council until April 2009. He is also currently Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the Universities of London and Aberdeen and was an honorary consultant nephrologist at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

# 23
John P. A. Ioannidis

1965 - Present (56 years)

#9380 person's overall influence

John P. A. Ioannidis is a Greek-American physician-scientist, writer and Stanford University professor who has made contributions to evidence-based medicine, epidemiology, and clinical research. Ioannidis studies scientific research itself, meta-research primarily in clinical medicine and the social sciences.

# 24
Steven Nissen

1949 - Present (72 years)

#65351 person's overall influence

Steven E. Nissen , is a cardiologist, researcher and patient advocate. He was chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio.

# 25
Michael Baum

1937 - Present (84 years)

#29022 person's overall influence

Michael Baum , Professor Emeritus of Surgery and visiting Professor of Medical Humanities in University College London , is a British surgical oncologist who specialises in breast cancer treatment. He is also known for his contributions to the evaluation and support of patient quality of life. He has been Professor of Surgery in King's College London, the Royal Marsden Hospital and UCL. He is a notable critic of alternative medicine.

# 26
Paolo Macchiarini

1958 - Present (63 years)

#20553 person's overall influence

Paolo Macchiarini is a Swiss-born Italian thoracic surgeon and a former researcher on regenerative medicine, who became known for research fraud and manipulative behavior.

# 27
Rory Edwards Collins

1955 - Present (66 years)

#279818 person's overall influence

Sir Rory Edwards Collins FMedSci FRS is a British physician who is Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the Clinical Trial Service Unit within the University of Oxford, the head of the Nuffield Department of Population Health and a Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford. His work has been in the establishment of large-scale epidemiological studies of the causes, prevention and treatment of heart attacks, other vascular disease, and cancer, while also being closely involved in developing approaches to the combination of results from related studies .

# 28
Marci Bowers

1958 - Present (63 years)

#77005 person's overall influence

Marci Lee Bowers is an American gynecologist and surgeon who specializes in gender confirmation surgeries. Bowers is viewed as an innovator in gender confirmation/affirmation surgery, and is the first transgender woman to perform such surgeries.

Rahul Potluri
# 29
Rahul Potluri

1983 - Present (38 years)

#189235 person's overall influence

Rahul Potluri is a British physician, researcher and founder of ACALM Study Unit, United Kingdom . His clinical epidemiology research unit is one of the first to use big data in healthcare and medical research. His work has shown for the first time a link between high cholesterol and breast cancer. Further research has suggested the role of cholesterol and possibly statins improving the mortality in patients suffering from breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and bowel cancer. Other prominent studies include health services research evaluating differences in death rates from weekend ...

Peter J. Hotez
# 30
Peter J. Hotez

1958 - Present (63 years)

#42274 person's overall influence

Peter Jay Hotez is an American scientist, pediatrician, and advocate in the fields of global health, vaccinology, and neglected tropical disease control. He serves as founding dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, where he is also Director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair in Tropical Pediatrics. Hotez served previously as President of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and is a founding Editor-

Li Wenliang
# 31
Li Wenliang

1986 - 2020 (34 years)

#73389 person's overall influence

Li Wenliang was a Chinese ophthalmologist who worked at Wuhan Central Hospital. On 30 December 2019, Wuhan CDC issued emergency warnings to local hospitals about a number of mysterious pneumonia cases discovered in the city in the previous week. On the same day, Li received an internal diagnostic report of a suspected severe acute respiratory syndrome patient from other doctors which he in turn shared with his friends. He was dubbed a whistleblower when that shared report later circulated publicly despite him requesting confidentiality from those he shared the information with. Rumors of a d...

Eric Topol
# 32
Eric Topol

1954 - Present (67 years)

#13134 person's overall influence

Eric Jeffrey Topol is an American cardiologist, scientist, and author. He is the founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, a professor of Molecular Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute, and a senior consultant at the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California. He is editor-in-chief of Medscape and theheart.org. He has published three bestseller books on the future of medicine. The Creative Destruction of Medicine , The Patient Will See You Now , and Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again ....

# 33
Ivo Pitanguy

1923 - 2016 (93 years)

#43259 person's overall influence

Ivo Hélcio Jardim de Campos Pitanguy was a plastic surgeon based in Rio de Janeiro.

Alexander Shulgin
# 34
Alexander Shulgin

1925 - 2014 (89 years)

#9044 person's overall influence

Alexander Theodore Shulgin was an American medicinal chemist, biochemist, organic chemist, pharmacologist, psychopharmacologist, and author. He is credited with introducing MDMA to psychologists in the late 1970s for psychopharmaceutical use and for the discovery, synthesis and personal bioassay of over 230 psychoactive compounds for their psychedelic and entactogenic potential.

# 35
Mark Porter

1962 - Present (59 years)

#159870 person's overall influence

Mark Porter is a consultant anaesthetist and until June 2017 was chairman of the British Medical Association. He was succeeded by Dr Chaand Nagpaul.

Henry Marsh
# 36
Henry Marsh

1950 - Present (71 years)

#103098 person's overall influence

Henry Thomas Marsh CBE FRCS is a leading English neurosurgeon, and a pioneer of neurosurgical advances in Ukraine. His widely acclaimed memoir Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery was published in 2014. According to The Economist, this memoir is "so elegantly written it is little wonder some say that in Mr Marsh neurosurgery has found its Boswell." A further memoir Admissions: A life in brain surgery was published in 2017.

Toby Cosgrove
# 37
Toby Cosgrove

1940 - Present (81 years)

#105947 person's overall influence

Delos Marshall "Toby" Cosgrove is an American Vietnam War veteran and former heart surgeon. He served as the president and chief executive of the Cleveland Clinic from 2004 until 2017.

# 38
Andrew Biankin
#250937 person's overall influence

Andrew Victor Biankin is a Scotland-based Australian clinician-scientist, best known for his work on enabling precision oncology in learning healthcare systems by integrating discovery, preclinical and clinical development to accelerate novel therapeutic strategies, and developing standardised pan-cancer assays for use by healthcare systems and researchers worldwide.

# 39
David Nott

1956 - Present (65 years)

David Malcolm Nott is a Welsh consultant surgeon who works mainly in London hospitals as a general and vascular surgeon, but also volunteers to work in disaster and war zones. Having recognised that training others could greatly increase his capacity to help, Nott established the David Nott Foundation, along with his wife Elly, to organise training in emergency surgery for others working in war and disaster zones. He has been honoured for this dangerous work and is now often styled the "Indiana Jones of surgery".

Ralph S. Greco
# 40
Ralph S. Greco

1942 - 2019 (77 years)

#171116 person's overall influence

Ralph Steven Greco was the Johnson and Johnson Distinguished Professor, Emeritus of Surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine. He was a leader of the resident Well Being in surgery movement and surgical training program leader.

# 41
Patrick and Benjamin Binder

1987 - Present (34 years)

#75285 person's overall influence

Patrick and Benjamin Binder were conjoined twins, joined at the head, born in Germany in early 1987, and separated at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center on September 7, 1987. They were the first twins to be successfully separated by neurosurgeon Ben Carson, of Baltimore, Maryland. For this operation Carson was able to prepare by studying a three-dimensional physical model of the twins' anatomy. Carson described this separation as the first of its kind, with 23 similar attempted separations ending in the death of one or both twins.

Brian Day
# 42
Brian Day

1947 - Present (74 years)

#74346 person's overall influence

Brian Day , is an orthopedic surgeon and health researcher in Canada, a past president of the Canadian Medical Association, and a prominent sometimes controversial advocate for patient access to a hybrid of Canada's health system.

# 43
Roy Meadow

1933 - Present (88 years)

#42284 person's overall influence

Sir Samuel Roy Meadow is a retired British paediatrician. He was awarded the Donald Paterson prize of the British Paediatric Association in 1968 for a study of the effects on parents of having a child in hospital. In 1977, he published an academic paper describing a phenomenon dubbed Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy . In 1980 he was awarded a professorial chair in paediatrics at St James's University Hospital, Leeds, and in 1998, he was knighted for services to child health.

Siddhartha Mukherjee
# 44
Siddhartha Mukherjee

1970 - Present (51 years)

#36190 person's overall influence

Siddhartha Mukherjee is an Indian-American physician, biologist, oncologist, and author. He is best known for his 2010 book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer that won notable literary prizes including the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction, and Guardian First Book Award, among others. The book was listed in the "All-Time 100 Nonfiction Books" by Time magazine in 2011. His 2016 book The Gene: An Intimate History made it to #1 on The New York Times Best Seller list, and was among The New York Times 100 best books of 2016, and a finalist for the Wellcome Trust Prize a...

Neil M. Ferguson
# 45
Neil M. Ferguson

1968 - Present (53 years)

#45709 person's overall influence

Neil Morris Ferguson is a British epidemiologist and professor of mathematical biology, who specialises in the patterns of spread of infectious disease in humans and animals. He is the director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics , director of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, and head of the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology in the School of Public Health and Vice-Dean for Academic Development in the Faculty of Medicine, all at Imperial College, London.

Roger Kirby
# 46
Roger Kirby

1950 - Present (71 years)

#152295 person's overall influence

Roger Sinclair Kirby FRCS, FEBU is a retired British prostate surgeon and professor of urology, researcher, writer on men's health and prostate disease, founding editor of the journal Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases and Trends in Urology and Men's Health and a fundraiser for prostate disease charities, best known for his use of the da Vinci surgical robot for laparoscopic prostatectomy in the treatment of prostate cancer. He is a co-founder and president of the charity The Urology Foundation , vice-president of the charity Prostate Cancer UK, trustee of the King Edward VII's Hospital a...

Ferid Murad
# 47
Ferid Murad

1936 - Present (85 years)

#23360 person's overall influence

Ferid Murad is an Albanian physician and pharmacologist, and a co-winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

# 48
Friday Okonofua

1955 - Present (66 years)

#250169 person's overall influence

Friday Okonofuaborn in 1955 is a Nigerian professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics. He is the pioneer Vice Chancellor of Ondo State University of Medical Sciences and founder of Women Health and Action Research Centre, a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Benin City, that focuses on promoting female reproductive research.

Patrick Vallance
# 49
Patrick Vallance

1960 - Present (61 years)

#60425 person's overall influence

Sir Patrick John Thompson Vallance is a British physician, scientist, and clinical pharmacologist who has worked in both academia and industry and, since March 2018, has been the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of the United Kingdom.

Catherine Calderwood
# 50
Catherine Calderwood

1968 - Present (53 years)

#76341 person's overall influence

Catherine Jane Calderwood FRCOG FRCPE is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, originally from Northern Ireland, who has lived and worked in Scotland for several years.