Q&A with Ranjana Srivastava

We are proud to announce that Monash Health oncologist, Ranjana Srivastava, has been awarded a Fulbright award for the second time.

The Fulbright Program is administered by joint governments and is the largest educational exchange scholarship program in the world. This year alone, 140 Australian scholars received a Fulbright award.

This is an impressive professional accolade for all that Ranjana contributes to the broader Monash Health community and patients.

We had a chat with Ranjana who gave us the opportunity to learn more about the scholarship and to reinforce the importance of mutual understanding and education of diverse research topics.

What is your field of study?

I am an oncologist with a special interest in geriatric oncology. After the opening of the geriatric service at Monash, I have become particularly keen in the public policy decisions that shape the healthcare system of an aging society.

What drives your interest in your research?

As an oncologist, I am driven to discover holistic and collaborative approaches rather than fractured medicine.

This is the second time you have won a Fulbright award. Can you tell us about how you used the first award and how you will use the second award?

In 2005, I used my first Fulbright to undertake a fellowship in medical ethics and doctor-patient communication at the University of Chicago and it is not an understatement that my education transformed my outlook on the practice of medicine. I will use my second Fulbright to undertake a master’s degree in public policy in the United States. While I will sorely miss patient care, I am excited about returning with greater knowledge.

What helped shape your decision to apply for the scholarship?

Before applying, I sought counsel from many people inside and outside of medicine. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the advice given by Monash Health Chief Executive, Andrew Stripp, about how the broader perspective of a doctor can benefit society. For any clinician who is passionate about bedside medicine, it is a difficult decision to switch paths, even temporarily.

What advice would you give to someone that is considering applying for a Fulbright scholarship?

The nice thing about the Fulbright is that it is awarded to people from all walks of life. This year’s cohort includes a medical student, registrar, GP, specialists, allied health professionals, not to mention climate scientists, physicists, writers, artists, athletes and musicians. Applicants need a sound idea and the resolve to pursue it. There is no age limit and the oldest scholar can be fifty years older than the youngest – it’s quite amazing to think how everyone can come together to shape the world in a slightly different way.

Congratulations to Ranjana on this impressive achievement and we wish you the very best with your studies. To find out more about the Fulbright program, take a look at the website below.




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