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Irene Scheimberg
Irene Scheimberg

Consultant Paediatric and Perinatal Pathologist,
London Hospital

Interview location: Her home and her office, London
Interview date: 28th July and 2nd August, 2007

Key Themes: Alder Hey, Autopsy, Children, Mentors and Influences, Legislation and Regulation

 


 

Profile   |   Transcript Summary   |   Full Transcript




 

PROFILE

Each baby is somebody's child, and it is always emotionally engaging... You know you are doing something that's going to help somebody through their grief.Irene Scheimberg grew up in Argentina in a highly politicised, intellectual home, shared with her Russian immigrant grandparents.  Midway through her medical training she had to flee Argentina as the military regime began arresting and killing close friends.  She supported herself through the final years of medical school in Spain, and then came to the UK, where, self-conscious about her English, she chose to specialise in pathology partly because she reckoned it would involve less direct contact with patients. She was offered a post in paediatric pathology at Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital and then began doing perinatal pathology, which, 20 years ago, had precious few practitioners. 

Scheimberg's experiences in Argentina are a reference point in everything she does, and her priority is to help families understand the reasons for a child's illness or death and to cope with their loss. “Each baby is somebody's child, and it is always emotionally engaging, if you know what I mean.  You know you are doing something that's going to help somebody through their grief, even if it might be very [straightforward],” she says.

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