“I’ve often gone into [the operating] theatre and they will be grilling you – ‘what are the complications here ? What is the blood supply to that? What school did you go to?’ ”

The school question follows as naturally as breathing. The school was in Finglas, she tells them. “And you can see their eyes widen. I’m never quite sure what it is – is it surprise or admiration ?”

In first year, Lambert was almost overwhelmed, partly by the “outrageously tough” course but also by a sense that she didn’t belong. “I withdrew into myself. I almost felt that I shouldn’t be here. For example, people were milling around with all those notes and I said, where are they getting them from?” (Times) >