Dr Sheina Cooper Helen Watters

Personal Details

Dr Sheina Cooper Helen Watters

14/06/1903 to 08/01/1983

Place of birth: Lochearnhead, Balquhidder, Scotland

Nationality: British

CRN: 715417

Education and qualifications

General education

The Ladies College, Bridge of Allan; St Hilda’s School, Liberton; University of Edinburgh

Primary medical qualification(s)

MBChB, Edinburgh, 1929

Initial Fellowship and type

FFARCS by Election

Year of Fellowship


Other qualification(s)

DA(RCP&S), 1935

Professional life and career

Postgraduate career

Dr Watters seems to have spent most of her career at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (and, it is assumed, in associated private practice, at least before WW2). She was first appointed as an Assistant Anaesthetist in 1931, became full time a few months later, and Senior Anaesthetist in 1932. With many male colleagues called up at the start of WW2 she was appointed Supervisor of Anaesthetics for one of the Infirmary’s general surgical units in 1939, and a consultant after the inception of the NHS. Both before and after WW2 she held appointments at other Edinburgh hospitals. She retired in 1964.

Professional interests and activities

Little is known about Dr Watters’s professional interests, but her 1932 appointment as Senior Anaesthetist was made at the specific request of the pioneer neurosurgeon Norman Dott. She was one of the successful candidates at the very first DA(RCP&S) examination in 1935, and a Fellow of the RSM in 1950, but is remembered as being of a generation who trained before the introduction of neuromuscular blocking drugs, and had difficulty adapting to their requirements.

Other biographical information

Finding any biographical information beyond that in professional records was extremely difficult, the reason eventually identified for this being her first name. She was known as Sheina, even in the Medical Register, but Jane is the first name recorded on both her birth and death certificates. The daughter of a farmer, she never married, and returned to live on the family farm after she retired. Animals obviously remained an interest, one colleague remembering having to relieve her from a trauma list so that she could be home in time to feed her cats!

Author and Sources

Author: Prof Tony Wildsmith.

Sources and any other comments: I thank the University of Edinburgh (undergraduate record) and Lothian Health Service (RIE Medical Managers’ Committee Minutes) Archives for information on her career; Ms Sheila MacRae for identifying the correct first name and so allowing details of birth, origins and death to be identified; and Drs WR MacRae and LVH Martin for their reminiscences. More detailed information on Dr Watters’s life would be welcome.