A pioneering female surgeon
Linda De Cossart is vice president of the Royal College of Surgeons. Aliya Razaaq spoke to her
The male tradition didn't put me off; I always thought it was quite important to use what you had to your advantage. I was well trained and I worked for some supportive people, most of whom were men. I'm quite sure there was some discrimination that went on in the background, but I never felt heavily discriminated against. The competition was great, and I did run into a stumbling block getting the next job, but so did a lot of my male colleagues.
You will always get some doctors who communicate well and some who communicate badly; surgeons seem to have acquired a stereotype for being bad communicators. We have the stereotype of being poor communicators through media such as the Carry On films. Even modern parodies characterise surgeons as horrible people. Maybe the stereotype partially comes from surgeons being busy and not seeing communication as their main job.