From pushing herself to the limit while competing as a schoolchild in artistic gymnastics competitions and then later as an elite triathlete, Dr Sarah Short is no stranger to the relentless demands for commitment and dedication in the pursuit of her goals.
Now the University of Adelaide graduate in both Medicine and an Honours degree in Health and Medical Sciences is turning her energies towards a career combining research with surgical practice, bringing scientific advances to the bedside for improved clinical outcomes.
“My aim eventually would be to work as a clinician-scientist to be able to use surgical innovation to influence surgical practice outcomes, with the potential to improve patient experiences in my local and international community.”Dr Sarah Short
Aged 25 from Prospect and a former student of St Dominics Priory College where she gained an ATAR of 99.2, Sarah has become the University’s 112th Rhodes Scholar, awarded one of only three Australia-at-Large Rhodes Scholarships offered each year to study at Oxford University.
In the final years of her studies at University of Adelaide she witnessed an innovative surgical intervention of a young woman with chronic inflammation of the pancreas.
“The surgical team were able to remove her pancreas, isolate the cells that release insulin, and re-infuse those cells so this woman could return to her life without the overshadowing risk of cancer, or burden of chronic diabetes,” says Sarah.
“This encounter was my first exposure to the transformative nature of novel clinical practices and opened my eyes to the substantive impact new innovations in practice may have on patients.”
Sarah plans to undertake a Masters of Science (MSc) by Research in Surgical Sciences at the University of Oxford. She is currently engaged in a Graduate Certificate of Surgical Sciences at the University of Sydney.
“My aim eventually would be to work as a clinician-scientist to be able to use surgical innovation to influence surgical practice outcomes, with the potential to improve patient experiences in my local and international community,” she says.
University of Adelaide Interim Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Mike Brooks said: “Many congratulations to Sarah who is continuing a proud tradition of University of Adelaide Rhodes Scholars – she is our 112th Rhodes Scholar in 112 years the scholarship has been awarded in Australia.
“Sarah’s outstanding record in academia, sport and community service speaks for itself. There is little doubt she will go on to make a significant impact in her chosen fields.”
Sarah competed in artistic gymnastics for 14 years while at school, representing South Australia at the National Championships. She was South Australian Triathlete of the Year in 2016/17 and has represented Australia at a number of international sporting events.
She has been active in service to the community including as Volunteer Director of SWIFT (Supporting Women in Fitness and Triathlon) – a collaboration with Triathlon SA and Statewide Super SA to encourage women’s participation in sport through support and coaching.
At University, she excelled in her studies, gaining First Class Honours with a grade point average (GPA) of 7.0 for her Honours Degree in Health and Medical Sciences, and winning the Dr Terry Farquharson Medical Scholarship during her Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor Surgery.
The Rhodes Scholarship is awarded on the basis of outstanding intellect, character, leadership, and commitment to service. The Rhodes Scholarships support students who demonstrate strong propensity to emerge as ‘leaders for the world’s future’.