Dr David Lam

Distinguished Alumni Award recipient 2023

As a dedicated young rural GP, anaesthetist and proud Hakka (客家) Chinese Australian, Dr David Lam (惠民) is committed to ensuring all Australians have equal access to high-quality medical care. He was awarded a 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award for his work. “I was drawn to work regionally, because at the end of the day there’s just not enough doctors around to look after the people there, and it’s not fair that depending on what post code you live in you might get a different standard of care here in Australia. We all deserve the same standard of medical care, and that’s what I’m all about,” he says.

David is inspired by many people, but especially by his grandfather Dr Teck Choon Lam.

“He came from a war-torn country and studied medicine at the University of Adelaide. In fact, he was the only person of colour at that time at the Adelaide Medical School. Later on, at the pinnacle of his career, he was actually the medical director for the Australian High Commission in southeast Asia. He was in charge of all the healthcare provided by the Australian Government to the Vietnamese refugees. That’s what he inspires me to be – to be making that kind of difference on an international scale.”

A headshot of Dr Lam in a khaki jacket

Dr David Lam 

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery 2012

“We all deserve the same standard of medical care, and that’s what I’m all about.”Dr David Lam


Like his grandfather before him, David aims to ensure medical care is available to all, regardless of one’s gender, background, beliefs or where they live. And, as inspired by Dr Teck Choon Lam, David is already providing inspiration to a new generation of doctors. He is particularly passionate about empowering young people from rural and Aboriginal backgrounds to become health professionals in their own communities; he volunteers to speak at high schools, provides mentoring to young medical students and doctors, and supervises work experience in regional hospitals.

David continues to teach as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Adelaide, is the youngest Board Director of the Country SA Primary Health Network, and simultaneously serves on the councils of multiple state and national GP training entities. Providing an exceptional example to aspiring young GPs, David continues advocating tirelessly to ensure the very best quality primary care and mental health care for regional Australians.

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