Indigenous Medical Scholarship saved me
Dr India Latimore doesn’t think she would have graduated from university if it wasn’t for the AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarship.
Now part of the first team at Mater Mental Health Facility in Newcastle, NSW, Dr Latimore was the 2015 winner of the scholarship, receiving $30,000 towards her studies.
She completed her medical degree in 2017 at the University of Newcastle.
“The AMA scholarship came at a critical time for me,” she said recently.
“I was actually thinking of deferring my fourth year just to get a job and pay some bills.
“But it paid my way. It let me relax and concentrate on my studies.
“It absolutely changed my life. It was fabulous.
“I don’t think I would have graduated without the scholarship.”
A proud descendant of the Worimi people, she realised her passion for medicine after travelling around Australia with her family.
During that time she witnessed the difficulties experienced by Aboriginal patients in remote Indigenous communities.
“Why I got into medicine was to help people,” she said.
“I’m actually really enjoying it. I think it was my calling.
“And yes, I do like being a bit of an inspiration to others. I do think some people look up to me because I received this scholarship. It was a big deal.
“I try and help others learn about the scholarship. People definitely want to know about it, what it is and how can they apply for it.
“I’ve always been interested in Aboriginal health, and this scholarship allowed me to do electives around it and the local community.
“Eventually I want to go on to dermatology. I’m on the right track for that.”
When approached by Australian Medicine, Dr Latimore was more than keen to talk about the AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarship.
It has done so much for her, she said, that she wants others to benefit too.
Those benefits flow not only to recipients of the scholarship, but to the Aboriginal and wider communities they serve as medical professionals.
Dr Latimore likes the idea of there being more than one scholarship granted each year.
“If there were a few more scholarships added it would really help,” she said.
PICTURE: India Latimore is presented the 2015 AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarship from then AMA President Professor Brian Owler.
Information about donations to the AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarship can be found at: https://ama.com.au/donate-indigenous-medical-scholarship
Published: 14 Mar 2018