Title Details

Priscilla Kincaid-Smith Out Takes

Eminent kidney specialist Priscilla Kincaid-Smith tells how she achieved her position as a world leader of the medical profession against powerful opposition.
Series : Australian Biography Series 7 | Year : 1999 | Total Duration : 26 Minutes | Producer : Robin Hughes
Director : Robin Hughes |
Tape 1 - Interview Priscilla Kincaid-Smith about growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa, enjoyment of the climate there, happy family life, her father believing in equality between men and women, her father being a dentist and losing siblings during the war, relationship between black and white people during that period, segregation and attitudes towards black people in SA, spending much of her school time playing sports and not doing any academic work, being a competitive swimmer and representing South Africa during the war years, love for the outdoors and going off on her own, going to university to do physical education but because she was too young, choosing to do medicine and becoming enthralled by the sciences, differences between English and Afrikaans in South Africa, her mother and father, childhood memories and having a certain confidence, studying medicine and parents disapproving being Christian Scientists.
Access No. 132208 | 34 mins 2 secs | 1990s | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 2 - Interview Priscilla Kincaid-Smith about interest in microscope work, studies in medicine and finding pathology quite easy, loving clinical work and making patients better, work as medical student at Baragwanath Hospital opposite Soweto township, different diseases apparent in the black people who never suffered from heart disease, going to England to do post graduate training in pathology at Hammersmith Hospital, areas of interest being hypertension (high blood pressure) and the kidney, political involvement while at university and being extremely left wing and studying Marxism in secret, being anti Apartheid, parents' strong disapproval of her views, WWII breaking out when she was 12, love for London, meeting husband Ken Fairley in London when she was a registrar at Hammersmith Hospital, getting married in London, Ken's family all being doctors, planning to have children.
Access No. 132209 | 34 mins 45 secs | 1990s | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 3 - Interview Priscilla Kincaid-Smith about decision to move to Australia in 1958 with her husband Ken, being disappointed with the Melbourne climate, being upset by the attitude that women should stay at home and not pursue any career, getting a poorly paid research position at the Baker Institute at the Alfred Hospital, encountering a block to the academic work she wanted to do, being very angry at not being able to get a position because she was a married woman, having a pair of twins who died, planning to work in New Guinea but failing because they were married, not being listened to when she knew there was something very wrong with her pregnancy, law changing in 1967 and getting a full time position at the University of Melbourne, getting support from Queen Victoria Hospital for her work there in an honorary position, having twin boys in 1960 and a daughter in 1963, gaining knowledge about the kidney / nephrology and going in to specialisation in this field, transplants, becoming person in charge of renal unit at same time as being professor at the uni, importance of research, buying a holiday home in Apollo Bay in order to send some quality family time, finding schools for the children, sharing domestic responsibilities with Ken.
Access No. 132210 | 35 mins 21 secs | 1990s | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 4 - Interview Priscilla Kincaid-Smith about her discovery that APC powders and tablets used widely by Australians were directly linked to kidney disease / failure, husband Ken's simultaneous recognition of the same problem, subsequent publicity, husband Ken being a cardiologist and them both becoming nephrologists, various research studies on pregnancy, work on kidney transplants, reintroducing biopsies in Australia under a new technique learned at Hammersmith Hospital, autopsy work, various publications including The Lancet, support of transplants over dialysis, preferring donor to be from a dead person, various achievements made as a woman, encountering various opposition and malicious rumours.
Access No. 132211 | 34 mins 43 secs | 1990s | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 5 - Interview Priscilla Kincaid-Smith about international recognition and subsequent elevation to different posts in Australia, presidency of the International Society of Nephrologists, qualities required for a position of leadership in medical societies and organisations, given an appointment of a personal chair in 1975, professor at University of Melbourne, involvement with birth control issue while president of the World Medical Association, visiting some of the developing world countries including Nigeria, support for safe abortion, involvement in work on AIDS prevention in Australia, resulting policy on free needles and syringes, speaking out on female genital mutilation, AIDs causing a reduction in the world population, becoming first woman head of the College of Physicians which is an adjudicating body for young physicians' training.
Access No. 132212 | 33 mins 39 secs | 1990s | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 7 - Various still photographs Priscilla Kincaid-Smith family, friends, medical career, colleagues, associations, travel
Access No. 132214 | 31 mins 54 secs | 1990s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 8 - Interview Priscilla Kincaid-Smith about being retired at age 65 from Royal Melbourne Hospital and disliking not having anything to do, starting private practice at Epworth Hospital, being advisor to the Health Minister, description of current busy life, current research work, collaboration with husband Ken on their research work on kidney disease, her special combined skills in pathology , nephrology and clinical work, politically moving more towards the right since coming to Australia, opinion on deterioration of Australian health system since Medicare was introduced in the 1980s, influence of political scene on medical politics, different aspects to having power / influence, difference between private and public healthcare, importance of status and respect, various honours she has been awarded, 40 year marriage to Ken successful and not damaging to his career as was predicted by others, belief that her confidence came from an early age, developing confidence in children and allowing her children freedom from a very early age, some difficulties with their teenage years, having grandchildren, importance of family happiness.
Access No. 132215 | 34 mins 47 secs | 1990s | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 9 - Interview Priscilla Kincaid-Smith about discovery of analgesics causing kidney disease, support from various men, male chauvinism and opposition from those types of men, description ofd several occasions when she was expected to be a male and disregarded as a woman, changes / increase in the percentages of female medical students, women topping classes but dropping out and not getting top positions, comments on IVF, belief in euthanasia, thoughts on her own death, strength derived from her sporting background, need to be active, liking being tall, belief in principles such as fairness and autonomy, having no regrets about the choices she has made, not being religious, belief that she has had a lucky and good life, energy coming from being motivated, finding it sad when a patient dies, particularly when they're young.
Access No. 132216 | 33 mins 5 secs | 1990s | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 10 - NO TCD - Various footage hospital exterior, interior hospital ward, Professor Priscilla Kincaid-Smith doing rounds, consulting with patients, patient having dialysis.
Access No. 132217 | 1990s | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |