Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors walking in both worlds for the benefit of all Australians
In 1983, this country saw a major milestone — for the first time, an Aboriginal Australian graduated from an Australian medical school. This, however, was about 100 years after the graduation of the first Maori, Native American and Aboriginal Canadian medical students.1 In the following decade, only seven other Indigenous Australians would graduate.
We have had enormous ground to cover and obstacles and system barriers to overcome in the 28 years since Professor Helen Milroy’s graduation. It is with great pride that I can now say that there are over 150 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical graduates and almost 170 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students.2 There is still much work to be done. With the increasing overall numbers of students entering medical training, we need to ensure that the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students as a proportion of all students and non-Indigenous people undergoing medical education and training narrows, not widens.