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Student Careers

15 minute interview: Rowan Gillies

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 01 September 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:0409323
  1. Karen Hebert, Clegg scholar1
  1. 1BMJ

Rowan Gillies is a 33 year old surgeon from, Sydney, Australia. He completed his basic surgical training in 1999 and is currently in his third year of advanced surgical training. He has worked as a field doctor for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Afghanistan and Sierra Leone. Thereafter he became MSF medical coordinator in South Sudan and then Liberia. He became president of MSF Australia in January 2002 and then the following December was elected International President of MSF. Karen Hebert caught up with him in between press engagements.

What was your route from fieldworker to president of MSF?

My getting the job is a reflection of the strength of MSF Australia. We sent 120 doctors away last year and they have got a very good reputation in our organisation, so my appointment was recognition of that in some ways. I became a field worker and then became a board member of MSF Australia. I became president of the Australian group after my predecessor became pregnant. International president is chosen from the various group presidents--and so I decided to do this for about two years.

Have you always wanted to do humanitarian work?

To a degree, I always wanted to do it. As a student in …

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