Former NZRGPN Board student rep receives prestigious Rhodes Scholarship

The New Zealand Rural General Practice Network (Network) is thrilled to hear that former Board student representative Dr Ben Alsop-ten Hove has received the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.

This postgraduate award will support Ben to study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom where he will join a cohort of more than 100 Rhodes Scholars from around the world in October 2022.

Ben has a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Auckland, from where he graduated in 2020 with the Rotary Club of Auckland Award for the most distinguished medical student.

Ben is well known in the rural health sector for his commitment and contribution to improving the current rural health workforce crisis.

He has been a champion for growing the rural health workforce and has been influential as a co-founder and co-chair of Students of Rural Health Aotearoa (SoRHA) and as president of the Grassroots Rural Health Club in Auckland in 2018.

“Ben has been instrumental in promoting rural health careers to thousands of University and high school students throughout rural New Zealand,” Network Chief Executive Dr Grant Davidson says.

In 2019, Ben was recognised for his contribution to promoting rural health careers by being awarded the Local Hero Medal in the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Wards.

As a former student representative on the Network Board, Ben became an outspoken advocate for more equitable health outcomes for rural New Zealanders.

“We valued Ben’s input on the Network Board and in pa his focus on equity for Māori and his passion for promoting rural health as a future career,” says Network Board Chairperson Dr Fiona Bolden.

“He was always engaged, and hardworking and I am sure he will make the most of this opportunity with his Rhodes scholarship for the benefit of many.”

At Oxford, Ben plans to study for a Master of Public Policy and Master of Science in Evidence-Based Intervention and Policy Evaluation, a combination which he says “would enable me to support the development of an evidence-based health system that perpetuates equity and empowers tangata whenua and tauiwi.”