Medical oncologist, Fulbright scholar and award-winning writer
Dr. Ranjana Srivastava is a medical oncologist, Fulbright scholar and award-winning writer, and a columnist for The Guardian newspaper. She is the 2017 recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to medicine, particularly in the field of doctor-patient communication.
After an upbringing in the United States, where she completed high school in Pittsburgh, she graduated from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia with first-class honours.
In 2004, Ranjana was awarded a Fulbright Award and was Australia's highest-ranked recipient that year. She used it to complete an ethics fellowship at the MacLean Centre at the University of Chicago. She became a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2005 and now practices in the public hospital system in Melbourne. She is on the advisory committee to the Health Commissioner and plays an active role in shaping doctor-patient communication skills training. In 2016 Ranjana was appointed a visiting faculty at the University of Chicago to deliver a series of lectures on the art of medicine.
Ranjana has written widely on the subject of medicine and humanity and ethics. She publishes frequently in the New England Journal of Medicine and has also appeared in The Lancet, JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, Time Magazine and several other publications including Australia's Best Science Writing. She has won the Cancer Council Victoria award for outstanding writing as well as the Gus Nossal Prize for Global Health writing.
Her first book, Tell Me The Truth: Conversations with my Patients about Life and Death (Penguin) was shortlisted for a major literary award. Her second book, Dying for a Chat: The Communication Breakdown Between Doctors and Patients, won the Human Rights Literature Prize. Her third book on navigating a diagnosis of cancer was released internationally by Penguin and the University of Chicago Press. Her most recent book is called After Cancer: A Guide to Living Well.
Ranjana has previously written for The Age newspaper in Australia and is now a regular columnist for the Guardian. Her interest in explaining and demystifying medicine to the general public has led to a regular media presence in Australia, including on ABC radio and television.
Her roles as a medical volunteer have included working with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne, with the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta and in post-tsunami Maldives while she was a MacLean Centre fellow.
Her contribution to medicine was recently recognised with the Monash University Distinguished Alumni award of 2014. She was listed as a Westpac's Top 100 Women of Influence in 2015.