Charlotte Paul and Sarah Romans
You young women are taking the place of a man.”
In 1971, seventeen women were among the 120 graduates in medicine at the University of Otago. 44 years later, fifteen of the sixteen who were still alive wrote brief life stories, and in November 2015 fourteen of us met for a three day reunion. The naysayers were wrong: we had all practised medicine for many years, with just one giving up after thirty years to pursue other interests, and none of us regretted having chosen a medical career. Three had retired in the last few years but the rest were still practising, aged 67 or older. What follows are insights gleaned from this group of women, as we reflected on the time before we started university, our time together at Medical School, and our lives as medical practitioners. We also reflected on the process of meeting again, nearly fifty years after entering Medical School, and we now offer some insights to our successors, the women studying medicine today.