About the Book
Dear Sophie is the continuing memoir of The Jagged Years of Ruthie J. as Ruth fights to get enrolled into a medical school. She finally succeeds by being one of a few students to be accepted at a new type of medical school at the University of Calgary. Being admitted turns out to be the easy part as she continues to face sexual harassment and discrimination during her schooling. Told in letters to her niece Sophie, Ruth weaves a feminist story of perseverance and determination for equality.
Several male doctors did their best to get Ruth kicked out of the program but persevered. She finished her residency and opened her own medical practice despite being blocked at almost every step and clashing with the established medical community.
Ruth’s story continues right up to the present, covering almost half a century, all the while using her experiences, especially in the medical community as a means to show Sophie how to live a happy, feminist life.
“Dear Sophie is a flawless memoir that is not only a story of Dr Ruth Simkin, but a story of feminism and women in Canada and the field of medicine, skillfully woven together with valuable life lessons. I feel grateful to Dr Simkin not only for her pioneering work that improved the quality of life for so many women, but for sharing her experiences. I found this memoir not only insightful and inspiring and a bit shocking, but at times funny. I learned more than I expected. Thank you!”
“Beautiful memoir of a fascinating life. Simkin’s grand-niece Sophie is a very fortunate young woman. I wish I had such a handbook to life from my own grandmother – who had almost no formal education and was gone before I realized how many questions I should have asked.” — Rainbow Award judges
“Dr. Simkin courageously writes about her experiences in medicine, very true to the times. She describes changes over the years in a way that is both uplifting and at times, sad. I appreciated the thoughtful way the story was presented along with the sage advice as a narrative for the author’s niece. This story will inspire all who read it. I would love to prescribe a copy of this book to all mothers to give to their daughters. And to all other women as well! Very absorbing and interesting. Loved this book!” — Dr. Jann Rogers, BSc, MD, CCFP, FCFP