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The revealing, compelling memoir of one of Australia's foremost cardiothoracic surgeons, Dr Nikki Stamp.

Scrubbed is a raw, honest account of a life lived at the very edge of modern medicine, where heart surgeons tread the thinnest of lines between life and death, and yet where the greatest challenge can be the medical system itself.


From childhood Nikki Stamp wanted to be a doctor. It was a calling and not a career. Her love for her vocation only grew as a medical student, and as a young doctor going through training rotations she fell, totally and utterly, for the hugely demanding speciality of cardiothoracic surgery. But alongside the excitement and enormous challenges of trying to make it in one of the toughest and most competitive fields of surgery came some warning signs. Even in the operating theatre where she felt most alive, she battled with casual sexism, enormous egos, and sometimes just outright bullying. And within the system as a whole she lived with inhuman hours, chronic sleep deprivation, and rostering that had a profoundly damaging effect on her relationships outside of work.


Now, having reached the pinnacle of her craft, Nikki looks back with mingled love and despair at the profession she gave her life for. And how systemically difficult it is particularly for women to reach and sustain that level.


From the drama of the operating theatre, filled with both triumph and tragedy, to the brutal realities of surgical training, and the sacrifices needed to reach Nikki’s vocation, to the grinding nature of hospital bureaucracy and politics, Scrubbed is one of the most revealing books yet to be published about the real life and experiences of a surgeon.


Dr Nikki Stamp FRACS is one of only 11 female heart surgeons in Australia. She has a strong desire to change the way we think about health by making it accessible and achievable. She is currently studying a PhD and has appeared as host of ABC Catalyst, Operation Live and many other TV segments. Her writing has featured in the Washington Post, Mamamia, the Sydney Morning Herald, Huffington Post and The Guardian. She has written two books: Can You Die of a Broken Heart? (2018), and Pretty Unhealthy (2019).