London - Ruthlessness, emotional detachment and fearlessness are traits more usually associated with psychopaths.
But the best doctors also need the same "attributes", a leading cardiac surgeon has revealed. Professor Stephen Westaby, 71, said it helped him undertake a pioneering operation that saved a baby girl’s life.
He developed an appetite for risk following a rugby accident as a medical student that left him with a fractured skull.
Prof Westaby told the Cheltenham Literature Festival: "When they shipped me back to medical school they could immediately tell that I was different to the shy and retiring person I’d been before.
"I didn’t register fear and that became significant in my medical career.