The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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May 2017

Phyllis George FRCS

Jane Bailey

18 February 1925 –  6 April 2017

Many of us will remember Phyllis George as a charming quiet elderly lady who came to St John’s regularly until she was too unwell to do so.

However perhaps many did not know that she was an eminent and pioneering Consultant General Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital in the days when female surgeons were rare and discouraged from marrying.  It is likely that she sacrificed her personal life for her work.

She qualified from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in 1948 and gained her Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1953.  In 1979 she was the first woman to be elected to the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.  She was a Member of the Court of Examiners of the RCS and was Vice-President from 1988-1991.

Phyllis George was an outstanding and dextrous surgeon who worked quickly and accurately on patients with complex liver diseases on the world famous unit run by Professor Dame Sheila Sherlock.  She also specialised in thyroid and breast surgery. 

She was always modest about her achievements and was kind, gentle and approachable.  She was a shining example of a Christian life well lived.

(We expect there to be a memorial service for Phyllis at the Parish Church later this year.)

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