Actor Patrick Dempsey achieved two milestones over the summer (13) - he earned his high school diploma and a doctorate degree in one weekend.

The Grey's Anatomy star, who plays Dr. Derek Shepherd on the hit drama, has become a real-life doctor thanks to a college in his native Maine.

He was handed the special distinction to honour his support for cancer research and treatment in the state.

He explains, "I earned an honorary doctorate from Bowdoin College, it's a doctorate of humanities. I actually used to have a house outside of there (the college) and Shepherd is a graduate from there too, so I wear the Bowdoin College T-shirt on the show all the time."

And if the one degree wasn't enough, his old high school decided to award him with the diploma he never received.

He added, "I dropped out of high school in my senior year to run away with the circus, basically. I really did. I never got my high school diploma. So St. Dom's, which is the school I went to in Maine, found out that I was getting the doctorate, so they figured I should probably have my high school diploma.

"I graduated high school on Friday and got the doctorate on Saturday. It was a remarkable weekend."