Inside the Inbox of… Dr Nikki Stamp, advocate for women in surgery

12/May/2016 · 3 MINS READ

We’re asking industry leaders to let us delve into their most private of places… their emails!

Today we’re exploring the inbox of Dr Nikki Stamp, cardiothoracic surgeon and advocate for women in surgery.

Inbox status:


Which email conversation has sparked your interest recently?

Professionally, I got two emails today for things I’m really looking forward to. The first is a forum for young surgeons where we are going to Queensland for a few days to talk about how to improve the profession from the point of view of a young surgeon. The other thing is that a university I do some mentoring for is allocating me new mentees this week. I love mentoring so that is actually exciting, something to look forward to.

I also got an email to be a part of the Heart Foundation New York Marathon Team. I have a knee injury but running that marathon is definitely on my to-do list and I’m wondering if my knee will hold up to it! Watch this space.

What’s the top priority in your inbox at the moment?

Replying to emails I haven’t yet applied to! Replying to emails is not my strong point. If I don’t reply then and there, I sometimes to forget to reply for a day or two.

Who are you emailing that inspires you?

I get emails from young surgeons and young women from around the world who want my advice on being a surgeon. I get that they write to me looking for advice or inspiration but I am inspired by them, they have the courage to write to someone. I love that they’re driven and inquisitive. It really makes my day.

What newsletters are you signed up to?

Too many. Mostly from the VIP programs of various shops. And like a massive nerd, I get emailed table of contents of a lot of medical journals. But I also get some interesting things like an email from Dr Starla Fitch MD on beating burnout for doctors which I love.

Which kind of emails gets instantly deleted?

Spam. It was the reason behind the extra Gmail account. I also get rid of ‘Send me your passport number and I will transfer you $1,000,000 immediately’. I also delete anything from anyone who is having a go at me for something I’ve written, when it’s not constructive. I always reply to constructive emails, never to people who are chewing me out for fun. Life is too short for that kind of negativity.

Which kinds of email do you most love to receive?

Aside from people wanting to chat to me as I mentioned above, the best emails are replies from people you didn’t think would ever get back to you. Sometimes I email people about work opportunities or to speak to them about something, never expecting a reply. I also love getting invites to speak at events, especially when I’m really passionate about the topic. It’s very humbling.

I love emails from old friends or colleagues. They really make my day. Especially if they attach a picture of a cat or a dog.

What do you think you’ll be discussing over email in six months time?

I want to keep the conversation going for women in medicine and surgery, continuing to build on what we’ve already begun. I also look forward to June, which is Go Red for Women month, where we raise awareness for heart disease in women. I hope that there will be a lot of positive talk and action for an issue that I really believe in.

How long does it usually take you to respond?

Either embarrassingly fast or a few days.

When do you stop replying to emails?

When I have nothing to say. Or nothing constructive to say. If I’m angry, because then it will come across in an email and you can’t un-send that!

Finally, you have a chance to change the world with just one email – who’s that getting sent to and why?

Tough question!

I would love to have Malcolm Turnbull answer an email and agree to sit down and talk to me for twenty minutes. I believe in improving life for young Aussies and I would love to see what he has to say. But mainly, I would talk and he would listen. Obviously. In all seriousness though, I think a number of people in their 20’s and 30’s are increasingly disillusioned with politics and it would be great to pick the brains of our Prime Minister and tell him about what it’s like being a young(ish) Australian. Alternatively, I could try an emoji-only email with Julie Bishop.