Women Aren't Supposed to Fly
Women Aren't Supposed to Fly
The Memoirs of a Female Flight Surgeon
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When Harriet Hall graduated from medical school in 1970 and entered the Air Force, she was in a distinct minority. As the second woman ever to do an Air Force internship, she had to fight for acceptance. Even a patient's 3 year old daughter proclaimed, "Oh, Daddy! That's not a doctor, that's a lady." She was refused a residency, paid less than her male counterparts, couldn't live on base, and couldn't claim her husband as a dependent because he wasn't a wife. After six years as a general medical officer in Franco's Spain, she became a family practice specialist and a flight surgeon, doing everything from delivering babies to flying a B-52. She earned her pilot's license despite being told "Women aren't supposed to fly," and eventually retired from the Air Force as a full colonel. She is witness to an era when society was beginning to accept women in traditionally male jobs but didn't entirely like the idea yet. A somewhat warped sense of humor kept her afloat, and it spices the stories she tells about her own experiences and the patients and colleagues she encountered.
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Harriet Hall was a pioneer: a physician, a pilot, and an Air Force flight surgeon when there were few women in medicine and still fewer in the military. Now retired, she lives in Puyallup, Washington and writes about pseudoscience and alternative medicine as The SkepDoc. She has two grown daughters and a long-suffering husband who has become expert at dealing with uppity women.

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