Newly-qualified doctor awarded Chancellor’s medal in recognition of her outstanding bravery in fight against pandemic
A courageous newly-qualified doctor who has been helping to save lives at the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic has been awarded the Chancellor’s Medal from the University of Sheffield in recognition of her selfless and outstanding use of her medical training.
Final year medical student, Dr Anna Gordon, graduated early in Spring 2020 to join the global health workforce fighting the pandemic which has now claimed more than two million lives.
She courageously chose to spend her first months as a newly-qualified doctor, between May-July 2020, working with Afghan, Syrian and Congolese refugees on the Greek island of Samos, where the pandemic exacerbates already difficult living conditions.
Anna was honoured with the prestigious Chancellor’s Medal award at a virtual graduation ceremony last week in recognition of her unwavering commitment.
I was truly honoured to have been nominated for this prize. The experiences for which I’ve been awarded it were great privileges to have participated in and learnt from, albeit heart wrenching ones at times.
Dr Anna Gordon
Graduate from the University of Sheffield's Medical School
She said: “I was truly honoured to have been nominated for this prize. The experiences for which I’ve been awarded it were great privileges to have participated in and learnt from, albeit heart wrenching ones at times.
“I would like to thank the people around me during my six years at the University of Sheffield who inspired me, encouraged me, and challenged me to push boundaries that we saw.
“I’m so grateful to have had supervisors who nurtured the passions I had so well, particularly during my Masters in Public Health, and brilliant, brave peers from all over the world who continue to stun me with their courage, particularly in response to Covid-19 this year.”
Anna went above and beyond her degree in Medicine, volunteering alongside her studies with the MedEqualiTeam on Samos, where she provided essential health services to over 5,000 people in a migrant camp originally designed for 650.
While supporting the clinic from dawn until early evening, six days a week, she also conducted the first and only quantitative survey of migrants’ living conditions, working directly with the migrant community to gather information about daily life from 500 participants. She then used the data to lobby for better conditions, presented the results in several conferences and submitted a first-authored article to the Lancet Global Health scientific journal, while also completing her Medical degree.
During her studies, Anna was also an intercalating Masters of Public Health (MPH) student at the University of Sheffield’s School of Health and Related Research.
For her MPH dissertation, Anna studied the impact of trauma on homeless women’s experiences of perinatal care, which she published as first-author in the British Journal of General Practice, also gaining a Distinction and winning several conference prizes. The data from this project were presented to Sheffield City Council, prompting immediate changes to local health services, and formed the basis for training resources for Sheffield healthcare and social care professionals.
Dr Julie Balen, from the University of Sheffield’s School of Health and Related Research, said: “Anna clearly exhibits attributes and skills which are highly valued by the University in its aim to graduate active global citizens who make a lasting impact at home and in the wider world. Her instinctive passion for equality, her unwavering commitment to service, and her selfless, brave and outstanding use of her medical training, make Anna a highly worthy recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal 2020.”
Anna also volunteered in a Leeds prison leading restorative justice courses, was involved in regular homeless outreach activities, and delivered training for health professionals on recognition of modern slavery.
The University of Sheffield's Medical School
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