Russia’s oldest working surgeon turns 90 this year and with 10,000 operations already under her belt, she has no plans to retire.
Alla Ilyinichna Levushkina, 89, has worked with a scalpel in her hand for 68 years and still rattles out four surgeries a day at Ryazan City Hospital near Moscow.
The seasoned campaigner is only 150cm (4ft 9in), so has a special step to stand on to make sure she can reach her patients.
The 89-year-old worked in the air medical services for 30 years, when she treated patients living in the Russian wilderness.
She has now returned to Ryazan where she grew up and studied, and her appetite and drive has not wavered.
‘Being a doctor isn’t just a profession but a lifestyle,’ she told Lite FM when asked why she hasn’t retired.
‘If I stopped working, who is going to perform the surgeries?’
The tenacious pensioner has steady hands despite her age, and regularly has to deal with invalids who feel uneasy with her treating them.
One patient called Irina told Lite FM: ‘At first I felt I couldn’t trust a surgeon who is so old, but after she palpitated me with her firm fingers – all doubts gone.’
Alla refers to herself as the ‘racing horse’, because she is immediately filled with energy when she enters the operation theater.