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03 May 2019

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people attending university is sharply increasing; and more Indigenous people are choosing to study medicine.  

There are now well over 200 Indigenous doctors practicing medicine across Australia, but barriers remain that prevent many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from completing a medical degree.  Factors, such as cultural differences, racism, high expectations, financial hardship, and lack of academic support all play a role in preventing students from realising their dream of being a medical professional.

The AMA has a scheme in place to support more Indigenous students to pursue their dream of becoming a doctor – the Indigenous Medical Scholarship. Each year, the AMA offers a Scholarship to an eligible Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student, providing financial support for the full duration of a medical degree.

Since its inception in 1994, the Indigenous Medical Scholarship has helped more than 20 Indigenous men and women become doctors, many of whom may not have otherwise had the financial resources to study medicine. Despite this success, the AMA hopes to expand the number of Scholarships on offer each year to meet the increasing demand for the Indigenous Medical Scholarship. The number of applicants for the Indigenous Medical Scholarship is increasing each year, and we expect this this to increase even more in the future.

It can cost between $10,800 and $15,000 to attend one year of university to study medicine and students typically undertake four to six years to complete their degree to become a registered medical practitioner.

There is evidence that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have improved health outcomes when they are treated by Indigenous doctors and health professionals. Indigenous doctors have a unique ability to align their clinical and sociocultural skills to improve access to services, and provide culturally appropriate care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Yet, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors comprise less than 1 per cent of the entire medical workforce.

The AMA is seeking contributions towards the Indigenous Medical Scholarship to increase our support for Indigenous medical students, and to help grow the Indigenous medical workforce. All contributions can be claimed as a tax deduction.

By supporting an Indigenous medical student throughout their medical training, you are positively contributing to improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

As a donor, you can now easily donate to the Indigenous Medical Scholarship by simply clicking on the following link:, entering your details and making a credit card payment.  No more forms, emails or phone calls!

Further information about the Indigenous Medical Scholarship can also be found online at: or my emailing or phoning (02) 6270 5400.

The Scholarship was established in 1994 with a contribution from the Australian Government.

The AMA would like to acknowledge the contribution of the Reuben Pelerman Benevolent Foundation;  the late Beryl Jamieson’s wishes for donations towards the Scholarship; Deakin University; The Anna Wearne Fund and B B & A Miller Fund, sub-funds of the Australian Communities Foundation.




Published: 03 May 2019