Margaret Fairlie

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Margaret Fairlie

20th Century

Margaret Fairlie was born in Arbroath and graduated in medicine at St Andrews at a time when it was ‘positively indecent to lecture to a woman in physiology and anatomy’, according to an unnamed professor of the time! She then worked in Dundee as Professor of Midwifery and Gynaecology, and was known by her awed colleagues as “Madam”.

She pioneered the use of radium for cancer treatment, developed the forerunner of today’s vaginal smear tests and was partly responsible for the beginnings of Dundee’s world-renowned teaching hospital.

Dr Fairlie and Rebecca Strong [see footstep eleven] are celebrated opposite the gates of the former Dundee Royal Infirmary [DRI].

Image of Dundee Royal Infirmary. Copyright Dundee Local Studies Library