I’ve made my decision, thought Betty Eaton, and it’s the only self-respecting choice I can make. Two years of love and hope were erased when Betty decided not to marry Hal, who wanted a full-time wife, not a “lady doctor.” Betty wanted to be wife and doctor. But perhaps she could not have everything. Forced to choose, she chose medicine.
The demands of medical school give Betty few hours to think about the painful break with Hal. Soon she makes close ties with students, interns and teachers, all dedicated to the business of saving lives. Lectures and lab work give way to examining real patients. Slowly, fulfillingly, Betty evolves from classroom student to almost-doctor: alert and skilled during long nights on the emergency wards, quick and capable as a key member of a surgery team, triumphant as she helps deliver a baby. At the same time, her relationships with people seem to flower. She discovers that some men want to marry women doctors. She even comes to understand and resolve her battle with the over-critical, steel-eyed Chief of Medical Services, Dr. Axworth — “The Ax.”
Finally, as Dr. Betty Eaton she is ready for the responsibility of internship and residency at General Hospital, a pulsating medical center in New York City. Still, something is missing. Her sister is married, her friends are marrying and Betty cannot forget her dream: blending marriage and medicine. When she meets Jack Gage, she senses that her dream is at hand. Fulfilling it becomes her greatest challenge. Can she fairly divide her time between Jack and her career? Will he understand that when the lights go on in the operating room at three in the morning, she must be there? Will his family and friends accept a new doctor — and a woman at that — in their small Massachusetts community? Betty struggles to meet the challenge with honesty, femininity and a devotion to both her chosen professions: being wife and being a family doctor.