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Biographical entry White, Margaret Moore (1902 - 1983)

MRCS 1930; FRCS 1931; MB BS London 1930, MD 1936, MRCOG 1939, FRCOG 1950.

Born
4 February 1902
Derby
Died
17 January 1983
Occupation
Gynaecologist

Details

Margaret Moore White was born in Derby on 5 February 1902, the daughter of Henry Thomas White, a civil engineer and his wife Adriana, née McBean. Her early education was at Belmont School, Derby, but when she was 13 years old the family moved to London and until the age of 17 she went to the Tremarth School, Hampstead. Initially she trained in Swedish gymnastics and massage at a college in Stockholm and having completed the course returned to England in 1922 to set up in private practice as a physiotherapist as her Swedish diploma did not qualify her to work in most British hospitals. She attended the physiotherapy departments at St George's Hospital and the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases and obtained the diploma in massage and medical gymnastics. She was appointed to the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, but in 1924 decided to pursue a medical career. She entered Birkbeck College night school in order to take the preliminary examination and within a year had secured a place at the London School of Medicine for Women. She took the junior and senior anatomy prizes and shortly after passing the second MB she sat and passed the primary Fellowship.

After qualifying in 1930 and serving as house surgeon to Cecil Joll and Hamilton Bailey she passed the FRCS in 1931 and later went to the West Norfolk and King's Lynn Hospital as resident surgical officer with a view to training to be a children's orthopaedic surgeon. No vacancy was available and she returned to London in 1936 as gynaecological registrar at the Royal Free and Willesden General Hospital passing the MRCOG examination in 1939. In 1940 the Royal Free Hospital was evacuated to the Three Counties Hospital at Arlesey, Bedfordshire, and throughout the war years she served both as surgeon and as gynaecologist. At that time she met Dr Leonard Page who was assistant medical officer to the psychiatric hospital and whom she married in 1942.

After the war she was appointed consultant gynaecologist to the Lister Hospital, Hitchin, to Letchworth Hospital and to the Three Counties Hospital, Arlesey. In addition she was assistant gynaecologist to the out-patient department of the Royal Free, examiner to the General Nursing Council and to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists.

Her particular interest was in the treatment of infertility and in conjunction with Miss Gertrude Dearnley she began one of the first infertility clinics in Britain at the Royal Free Hospital in 1937. She maintained this interest after the war re-establishing the clinic at the Royal Free and also working in private practice in London. Many of her patients were infertile because of pelvic tuberculosis and she devised operations to restore the patency of blocked tubes. She published many papers on this subject and wrote a textbook, The management of impaired fertility, published by the Oxford University Press in 1962 and subsequently translated into Italian.

She attended many international conferences giving papers in Cairo, Stockholm, Mexico, Israel, Japan, United States and Holland.

She died on 17 January 1983, aged 80, survived by her husband and two sons, one of whom is a civil engineer and the other a physician.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet 1983, 1, 370].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England