Intended for healthcare professionals


Tough at the top

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 09 January 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:70
  1. Melissa Sweet
  1. Sydney

    Only about 4% of the fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons are women. Yet in what has been described as a “world first for a woman” the college has elected Anne Kolbe as its president. Has she finally smashed through the glass ceiling in surgery?

    She is dogged, forthright, warm, and inclusive, loves a good laugh over a card or board game, and is an organised, clear thinker who is proud to put her family ahead of her many professional roles.

    That is how colleagues, friends, and family describe Anne Kolbe, who last year became president of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons at a particularly difficult time in its history.

    Not only is there an increasing shortage of surgeons and a struggle with the government over medical indemnity, but the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission wants reforms of the college's training and selection processes.

    So the decision to elect someone who does not fit the traditional “boys' club” mould is an interesting one.

    Kolbe, 52, is a paediatric surgeon and health services manager from Auckland, New Zealand. …

    View Full Text

    Log in

    Log in through your institution


    * For online subscription