IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers| IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|

The IAMAT-Robert Haru Fisher Travel Medicine Scholarship

Photo By: Bilwanath Chatterjee

Expanding travel medicine in Africa

This is one of two scholarships awarded to a doctor or nurse living and working in an African country, outside of South Africa. Preference will be given to practitioners with knowledge in travel medicine and the capacity to expand the practice in their country.

The successful scholar will be sponsored by the Robert Haru Fisher Travel Medicine Scholarship. The scholarship is administered on behalf of IAMAT by the South African Society of Travel Medicine. SASTM’s mission is to guide the profession in all aspects relating to the practice of travel medicine, including training and accrediting travel health professionals.

The scholar attends a 5-day travel medicine course offered by SASTM in association with the University of the Witwatersrand and participates in clinical observations for 3 days at the Travel Doctor clinic in Johannesburg. The intensive course looks at all aspects of travel medicine, including patient-centered care, pre- and post-travel health protocols, and case studies. Prior to the course, the scholars are expected to study the provided educational materials in order to facilitate participation in the course. The scholars must write 2 exams (at the beginning and end of the course) and submit a travel medicine project. A Certificate of Competence will be issued by the University of the Witwatersrand upon successful completion.


IAMAT pays for the tuition, educational materials, local transportation, and accommodations. The recipient is responsible for transportation to South Africa and any additional miscellaneous costs. Upon successful completion of the course, IAMAT will reimburse the scholar for the airfare (economy class).

Course dates: May 8 - 12, 2024

Clinical observation dates: May 7 and May 13 – 14, 2024 (one day before and two days after the Course)

Deadline to apply: Application period for 2024 Course is now closed. The application period  for the 2025 Course will open August 1, 2024

Application: Download the form from the South African Society of Travel Medicine website

In memory of Robert Haru Fisher

The IAMAT-Robert Haru Fisher Travel Medicine Scholarship is named in memory of Robert Haru Fisher, a committed IAMAT board member, and his partner Harukuni. The scholarship is awarded to a doctor or nurse from an African country. The recipient participates in clinical observation and attends a travel medicine course offered by the South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM). After the course, the scholar returns home to teach their colleagues, improving healthcare for both travellers and local patients.

Bob’s storyRobert & Haru Fisher

Bob was an avid traveller who believed in the importance of experiencing and sharing cultures.Born on March 3, 1930, Bob was raised in Iowa and Missouri, and lived in London, Tokyo, and New York.

Bob graduated from Harvard University and travelled to Japan for his post-graduate studies at the University of Tokyo. During this time, he was a representative of the US National Student Association for East and Southeast Asia, promoting student exchanges to foster international ties and kinship. While in Japan, he also worked for the CIA's International Organization Division (IOD) which took him to many countries in the region. Bob was a strong believer that peace can be achieved through cultural understanding and international cooperation.

Bob spent many years as President and Editor-in-Chief of the Fodor travel guides. He also served as President of the New York Travel Writers Association and as President of the Society of American Travel Writers and its Foundation. He published several books on art and travel, including the Fisher Annotated Travel Guides. Bob served as Vice President on IAMAT’s Board of Directors for many years. On several occasions during his travels (visiting 106 countries in total), he had to use the service of IAMAT-affiliated doctors. Bob was a passionate advocate of our work, understanding the importance of having comprehensive travel health resources and access to a network of reputable doctors around the world ready to assist travellers.

IAMAT is proud to dedicate this scholarship to his memory.

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Last updated and reviewed: November 2023