Dorothy Grace Medway

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 08 July 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:114

A medical missionary

Dorothy Medway, who lived from the 19th to the 21st centuries, spent most of her career in rural India working for the Baptist Missionary Society. Her patients ranged from the poorest of the poor to the wife and daughter of a Maharaja, and she dealt with cases of tetanus, rabies, malaria, and cholera, as well as more routine medicine and surgery.

Born in 1899 in Maldon, Essex, into a family with a strong sense of Christian service, she originally intended to study English literature with a view to teaching, but while still at school she felt the call of God to become a missionary. The Baptist Missionary Society advised her that there was a much greater need for doctors, particularly women doctors. She responded positively to this challenge, returning to school to study sciences. This she found difficult—physics needed a resit. She then entered the Royal Free Hospital, London, where she found the surgery exam particularly difficult and failed once. She qualified in 1926 and then worked for …

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