Rohan Church (University of Tasmania, 2012)


Current job title: Emergency medicine registrar

What are you doing now?
Does that mean right now? I’m sitting by the fire, listening to the radio and talking to my dog. But in general, I’m trying to balance emergency medicine training, climate activism, staying healthy and growing vegetables.

What did you do after finishing medical school/university studies?
Internship in rural Tasmania.

What was your ‘big break’?
Learning about the destruction that climate change might bring to our planet and its people brought me very close to the point of dropping out of medicine to be a full-time activist. But at that time I was given some great advice from (then) Senator Christine Milne who told me to finish medical school and use my voice as a doctor to be the best climate activist that I could be. From there on I joined Doctors for the Environment Australia and haven’t looked back.

Where are you headed/what’s your dream job? Are you in it now?
I’ve loved clinical medicine more than I ever thought I would, and am increasingly involved in medical education as well. But I also want to be able to keep up involvement in climate change and global health issues, and still hold out hope of having a farm and a cafe one day. I think my main dream would be more hours in the day!

What did you study that has helped you (during or since medical school)?
Learning about the potential impacts but also the great human health co-benefits of action on climate change has helped to ensure my advocacy has an evidence base and makes it easier to talk to people about a pretty complex issue.

Top tips for students interested in a similar global health pathway?
Don’t wait to get started as an activist – join your global health group, Doctors for the Environment Australia or local climate action group. The planet can’t wait for you any longer.

When I am not doing global health you’ll find me…
Out running with my dog, Liffey (hopefully), or at work in the ED (more likely).

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