Dr Savage read medicine at Girton College, Cambridge. She qualified in 1960, and was the first woman consultant to be appointed in obstetrics and gynaecology at The London Hospital. She has worked in the United States of America, Nigeria, Kenya, and New Zealand. In New Zealand she set up an abortion service before the law was liberalised. She was an elected member of the General Medical Council for more than 16 years. She was shortlisted for the BMJ Group Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.
In 1985, she was accused of incompetence by the professor in her department and suspended from her post at the London Hospital Medical College, but she was cleared of all charges and reinstated in 1986 following a high-profile enquiry. A British Medical Journal editorial concluded that a clash of personalities had led to the charges against Dr Savage.
"Mrs Savage's strongly held and voiced opinions on women's rights to a say in their method of delivery and in their rights to abortion made her a public and at times controversial figure; rumours of other sources of conflict with her colleagues have ranged from style of dress to private practice."
Savage herself wrote about her experiences. Her later book, Birth and Power, revisits the issues which her suspension raised. She is co-chair of the pressure group Keep Our NHS Public. She is a publicly elected Governor for Islington in the Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, and has been further elected by her fellow Governors to serve on the Remuneration and Nominations committee, which then chose her as chair of that committee. She has also been elected by Governors to serve on the Council of Governors' Steering Committee.
- A Savage Enquiry. Virago. 1986. ISBN 0-86068-859-3.
- Birth and Power: A Savage Enquiry Revisited. Middlesex University Press. 2007. ISBN 978-1-904750-58-1.
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