Higher-degree research being undertaken by Rosaria Indah




Dr Matthew AM Thomas and Associate Professor Ruth Phillips

Thesis title:

A postcolonial analysis of community-based medical education in post-disaster context: Purposes, pedagogies and predicaments in Indonesia



Project description

My thesis utilizes postcolonial theory as a lens to analyse doctor-patient-student interactions that occur through community-based medical education (CBME) in post-disaster context of Aceh, Indonesia. The research employs ethnographic approaches (including participant observations, interviews, and focus group discussions) and highlights extant power relations between patients and their doctors as well as between patients and medical students during the CBME programing. The findings suggest novel forms of educational practice in order to create spaces for the patients’ voice to be heard and to be valued as legitimate sources of knowledge in medical education.

Rosaria Indah has more than ten years of experience as a medical educator and is a member of Medical Education Unit of Faculty of Medicine, Syiah Kuala University, Aceh, Indonesia. She completed her medical training at Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia in 2001 and her master’s degree in health profession education at Maastricht University, The Netherlands in 2011. Rosaria commenced her PhD studies in the Sydney School of Education and Social Work in 2015 with the assistance of the Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education. She is currently in the final stages of this degree, with plans in place to submit her thesis in the coming months. Rosaria is an enthusiastic blogger and her popular articles on research methodology and doctor-patient communication can be found at themethodologystrugglers.wordpress.com and komunikasidokterpasien.wordpress.com. She also plays the piano and has two teenage daughters with her husband.


  • Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education (2015-2019)
  • The University of Sydney HDR Student Grant (2016)
  • The University of Sydney HDR Student Grant (2017)
  • Runner up in the Three Minute Thesis Competition, Southeast Asian Centre (2016)

Professional and community role

  • Community Health Promoter at Indonesian Community Iqro Foundation at Wiley Park, NSW


  • Indah, R. (2018) Probing problems: Dilemmas of conducting an ethnographic study in a disaster-affected area, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 31, 799-805.

Conference presentations