Australian Biography: Priscilla Kincaid-Smith


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1999, 26 Minutes.

Emeritus Professor Priscilla Kincaid-Smith AC CBE tells how she achieved her position as a world leader of the medical profession against powerful opposition.

When eminent kidney specialist Priscilla Kincaid-Smith first arrived in Melbourne in 1959 she was in for a serious shock. Her plan to practise as a researcher and clinician in her chosen field came up against the Australian edict that barred married women from being appointed to such positions.

Kincaid-Smith's medical ambitions had been formed during her idealistic youth in South Africa, and a brilliant postgraduate career in one of London's leading teaching hospitals, where her gender had proved no impediment. Determined to continue with her elected profession in Australia and make use of her medical training, Kincaid-Smith battled sexism within the medical establishment to become a world-renowned medical specialist and professor.

She discovered the link between kidney disease and APC analgesics such as Bex and Vincent's. She became the first female President of the International Society of Nephrology and the first to hold a Chair of any kind at the University of Melbourne. Kincaid-Smith was also the first woman President of the Australian College of Physicians. In this refreshingly frank and forthright interview Priscilla Kincaid-Smith reveals the personal qualities that brought her spectacular success and enabled her to contribute so effectively to the wider community against powerful opposition.

A Film Australia National Interest Program. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

NB The Australian Biography series (1-11) are only available for sale within the territories of Australia and New Zealand.


Producer/Director/Interviewer: Robin Hughes

Year: 1999

Running Time: 26 Minutes

Classification: Exempt from classification

Curriculum Links: Medicine; Renal Medicine (Nephrology); Personal Development and Career Education; Women's Studies.


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SKU 199710807
Brand Film Australia

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