The subtitle of this ‘Prospects’ stems from a questioner who, at the end of one of my talks, began his question with the words ‘I wish to address my question to the woman in a man’s field’. He was, of course, using my surname to draw attention to the fact that it was unusual to encounter a female surgeon. It remains a specialty with a disproportionate number of men, but that is (and needs to be) changing.
As a primary school girl in the 1950s I was attracted to the sciences and enjoyed doing science experiments at home and seeking and learning about plants and animals in the countryside. We did not have books at home, but the local library provided me with fascinating books about the history of medicine and, in particular, surgery, which I read with alacrity. I was determined that I would become a doctor, and my undeclared determination was to become a surgeon.
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