Improving the human condition by reducing health inequality is the goal for Dr Elizabeth Hamilton, a Griffith medicine graduate just announced as Queensland’s 2018 Rhodes Scholar.

Dr Hamilton graduated with First Class Honours and a University Medal from the Griffith School of Medicine last year and intends to pursue a Master of Science in Global Health Science and Epidemiology at Oxford University with a goal of working in a global health organisation such as WHO.

“Through my study at Oxford University I hope to become an integral part of the change needed to make a meaningful and sustainable impact on people’s lives and live out a dream of improving the human condition by reducing health inequality,” Dr Hamilton says.

“At a public and global health level, change is initiated and driven by leadership, initiative, research and collaboration.

“I’m completely overwhelmed and very excited to have this incredible opportunity, and so thankful to my family, friends, many teachers and professors at Griffith, particularly within the medical school, for their unwavering support.

“The Griffith Uni medical school is truly first class – they provided me with a holistic medical education with a particular focus on the doctor patient relationship and communication skills. Another strength of the program is the Longlook program – I completed my final year of training in Warwick last year which was an incredibly hands-on experience and a great exposure to rural health. I also had the opportunity to be heavily involved in student societies, particularly Hope4health.”

A director of Ubuntu Through Health

Currently an intern at Townsville Base Hospital – but originally from Brisbane – Dr Hamilton has also been for the past four years a Director of Ubuntu Through Health, which delivers aid projects in South Africa, Ghana, Kenya and Timor-Leste (East Timor).

In Timor-Leste, she helped establish a partnership with a local clinic to support midwife training, tuberculosis diagnoses and treatment, and lifesaving paediatric surgery.

She has presented Ubuntu’s projects at two global health conferences. One of these projects won Best International Health Project of the Year.

“My involvement in Ubuntu and other volunteering roles has cemented principles of compassion and integrity, and my sense of responsibility as a privileged global citizen to serve others,” she says.

Among her many awards, Dr Hamilton presented at the 2017 International Balint Federation Congress in Oxford this year as part of the first prize in an international essay competition for medical students. Her essay was subsequently published.

She has tutored medical students and is an advocate for junior doctors for the Council of Doctors in Training as well as an associate lecturer at Griffith’s School of Medicine.

She represented Queensland in water polo throughout high school and at Griffith University. She also played representative netball for eight years and is an umpire and coach.