Indigenous medical students have until 31 January to apply for the 2018 Australia Medical Association (AMA) Indigenous Medical Scholarship. The successful applicant will receive AU$10,000 each year for the duration of their course.
Fewer than 300 doctors working in Australia identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander – representing 0.3 per cent of the workforce – and only 286 Indigenous medical students were enrolled across the nation in 2017.
“The significant gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians is a national disgrace that must be tackled by all levels of Government, the private and corporate sectors, and all segments of our community,” AMA President, said Dr. Michael Gannon.
“It’s evident that Indigenous people have a greater chance of improved health outcomes when they are treated by Indigenous doctors and health professionals.
“Indigenous people are more likely to make and keep medical appointments when they are confident that they will be treated by someone who understands their culture, their language, and their unique circumstances.
“The AMA strongly encourages Indigenous students to apply for the Scholarship, which, along with the AMA’s annual Report Card on Indigenous Health and the work of the AMA Taskforce on Indigenous Health, is part of the AMA’s commitment to improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.”
The program has supported Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to study medicine since 1994. Previous winners have gone on to become prominent leaders in health and medicine, including Associate Professor Kelvin Kong, Australia’s first Aboriginal surgeon.
Applicants must be currently enrolled at an Australian medical school, be in at least their first year of medicine, and be of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent. Further information, including the application form, can be found here