15 minute interview - Head girl
Fiona Godlee was appointed editor of the BMJ in March 2005. She is the only woman to have held this position since the journal was launched in 1840. Peter Cross found out more
I come from a medical family. My father was a cancer specialist. My three siblings are general practitioners. My great great great grandfather, Joseph Jackson Lister, invented the bichromatic microscope and his son was Joseph Lister. My mother complains that meals were ruined by medical conversations; she rather dislikes doctors as a breed, although I think she's quite impressed that her children became medics.
I did my house jobs in Bury St Edmunds. I did surgery and general medicine at Adenbrookes. I did a haematology house job, which was quite hard because there were very sick people there. It was a terrific responsibility to prepare and give cytotoxic drugs; there were a lot of young people with malignancies. I found that wonderful but also emotionally draining. Then I went to the Whittington as a senior house officer and that was a real eye opener. At times it felt like third