Diana Beck 1919

Believed to be the first female neuro-surgeon, Diana Beck attended Queen's from 1912 to 1919

Diana Jean Kinloch Beck attended Queen’s from 1912 to 1919.

She qualified at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, with prizes for medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, and was then awarded a postgraduate travelling scholarship.

She specialised in surgery and in 1930/31 was elected a Fellow both of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

In 1938 she was invited to join the staff (of which she was the only woman member) of Professor (later Sir Hugh) Cairns, the neurosurgeon, at the Nuffield Department of Surgery at Oxford. She was then the only woman neurosurgeon in Western Europe and North America, and so outstanding was her work that in 1947 she was appointed consultant neuro-surgeon to the Middlesex Hospital in London – an appointment believed to be the first of its kind ever to be held by a woman.

The portrait of Diana was produced by another alumna Phyllis Bliss (Dodd) ‘17