This irreverent romp through the worlds of medicine and the
military is part autobiography, part social history, and part laugh-out-loud comedy. When the author graduated from medical
school in 1970, only 7% of America's doctors were women, and very few of those joined the military. She was the second
woman ever to do an Air Force internship, the only woman doctor at David Grant USAF Medical Center, and the only female military
doctor in Spain. She had to fight for acceptance: even the 3 year old daughter of a patient told her father, "Oh, Daddy!
That's not a doctor, that's a lady." She was refused a radiology residency because they subtracted points for
women. She couldn't have dependents: she was paid less than her male counterparts, she couldn't live on base, and
her civilian husband was not even covered for medical care or allowed to shop on base. After spending 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. Along the way, she found time to buy her own airplane and learn to fly it (in that order)
and to have two babies of her own. She retired as a full colonel. As a rare woman in a male-dominated field, she encountered
prejudice, silliness, and even frank disbelief. Her sense of humor kept her afloat; she enlivened the solemnity of her job
with antics like admitting a spider to the hospital and singing "The Mickey Mouse Club March" on a field exercise.
This book describes her education and career. She tells an entertaining story of what it was like to be a female doctor, flight
surgeon, pilot, and military officer in a world that wasn't quite ready for her yet. The title is taken from her first
cross-country solo flight: when she closed out her flight plan, the man at the desk said, "Didn't anybody ever tell
you women aren't supposed to fly?"