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BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 28 June 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:1376
  1. Mary E Black, public health physician, Belgrade, Serbia
  1. drmaryblack{at}

    My auntie, Kate Fitzgerald, lives in Cork and I live in Belgrade. I have to juggle flights, family, and pressing work deadlines to reach her nursing home in a small village so as to have a clear two hours to spare for the visit.

    Auntie Kate—the fearless Irish nun and missionary surgeon who ran district hospitals in Nigeria and Malawi. Deceptively small and pious, she had seemed the epitome of glamour and feistiness and had inspired my dream of working as a doctor in Africa—a dream I nurtured for years through medical school …

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