Dame Rosemary Rue DBE in interview with Dr Max Blythe: Interview 1, Part 1


In the first of two interviews Dame Rosemary Rue, former regional general manager/regional medical officer of the NHS Oxford Region, talks of her family background, early education, wartime experiences, medical school years and early appointments, to the point at which she became involved in medical administration. After an introductory discussion of family and school life, Dame Rosemary focuses on the upheaval of her education and family life during World War II, and the experience of tuberculous peritonitis which led to ideas of a medical career. The interview moves on to Dame Rosemary's medical training at the Royal Free Hospital Medical School, then in Oxford due to her marriage, and her impressions of the new National Health Service. The difficulties of achieving appointments as a mother, and an attempt to gain experience in Lionel Cosin's innovative geriatric unit at Oxford's Cowley Road Hospital are examined. Next, Dame Rosemary discusses her move to general practice in 1952, the challenges of this branch of medicine, and a personal search for postgraduate education. She then describes how poliomyelitis and resulting disability drew her work to a close for a time. The interview concludes with the career adaptations that followed, first the move to an unusual general practice near Watford, and then into the field of public health and medical administration, which is the subject of a second interview.

Other description

The birth of the National Health Service; post-World War II medical training at Royal Free Hospital Medical School; University of Oxford; Leslie Witts; Lionel Cosin; women and medicine 1940s-60s; general practice in the early 1950s; poliomyelitis; Martin Doyle.


Geriatrics, Health services administration, Internal medicine (general), Obstetrics, Public health,

Project reference numbers

vid-191, MSVA_113

DOI (Digital Object Identifier)

Permanent link to this resource:


Attached files


Rue, Rosemary
Blythe, Max

Oxford Brookes departments

Learning Resources


Original artefact: 1995
RADAR resource: 2017


Oxford, UK

© Oxford Brookes University; The Royal College of Physicians
Published by Oxford Brookes University
All rights reserved.

Related resources

This RADAR resource is Part of Medical Sciences Video Archive
This RADAR resource is Continued by Part 2


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