Previous recipients of the $10,000 a year scholarship have gone on to become prominent leaders in health and medicine, including Associate Professor Kelvin Kong, Australia’s first Aboriginal surgeon.
“This Scholarship is a tangible step towards growing the Indigenous medical workforce,” AMA President, Dr Omar Khorshid, said today.
“At the end of 2019, there were just over 600 Indigenous doctors in the medical workforce, which is about 0.5 per cent of the workforce. This is a slight improvement on previous years, but to reach population parity of 3 per cent, the number should be closer to 3600.
“In early 2020, 404 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students were enrolled in universities across Australia, accounting for 2.7 per cent of domestic medical students.
“Indigenous people have a greater chance of improved health outcomes when they are treated by doctors and health professionals who understand their culture, language, and circumstances.
“Closing the disgraceful gap in life expectancy and health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians requires real action from all levels of Government, the private and corporate sectors, and all segments of our community.”
The 2020 recipient will be announced next month.
Applications close on 31 January 2021. Applicants must be currently enrolled at an Australian medical school, have successfully completed their first year of medicine, and be of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander background.
Further information and the application form is at www.ama.com.au/about/indigenous-medical-scholarship.
The AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarship was established in 1994 with a contribution from the Commonwealth Government. The AMA is seeking further donations and sponsorships from individuals and corporations to continue this important contribution to Indigenous health.