“Youth is not a limitation. While the wisdom and experience offered by those senior to us should be respected, we should not be intimidated by established systems. Just because something has always been done a certain way, it does not mean that that is the right way or the best way. Sometimes it takes disrupting the status quo to bring about meaningful change.”




Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Since qualifying as a specialist physician, Dr Jarrod Zamparini has dedicated his career to pioneering an obstetric medicine unit at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, the first and only unit of its kind in SA. “As the physician-lead for the unit, I diagnose and  treat medical problems that complicate pregnancy … I work with obstetricians and physicians to reduce maternal mortality by providing specialised care,” the 34-year-old says. This unit continues to grow, providing inpatient and outpatient management to pregnant women with medical diseases. Jarrod is committed to establishing obstetric medicine as a recognised subspecialty in South Africa through the colleges of medicine. Jarrod is one of the co-founders of the Society of Obstetric Medicine South Africa, which aims to reduce maternal mortality on a national level. The society provides academic support and training and establishes guidelines for managing medical problems during pregnancy. “I am motivated by a desire to make a positive impact on maternal health in South Africa — by improving maternal health we improve health for all. I believe that it is also our responsibility to bring others up with us; excellence is contagious — by striving for excellence we are all driven to perform at a high level and put others before ourselves,” Jarrod says.

  • MBChB (with distinction), University of Pretoria, 2012
  • Diploma in HIV Management, Colleges of Medicine of South Africa, 2015
  • Fellowship of the College of Physicians, Colleges of Medicine of South Africa, 2019
  • Master of Medicine, Internal Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, 2019

  • Jock Gear Memorial Award, 2019 (awarded to the medical registrar who, in the final year of study, is deemed to have contributed most to the improvement of the working life and/or to registrar matters of his or her colleagues during their study in the Department of Internal Medicine.
  • Founding member of Soomsa, the Society of Obstetric Medicine South Africa, a society formed to help reduce maternal mortality in South Africa through the establishment of obstetric medicine and the provision of education and guidelines to healthcare professionals working with pregnant women.

In high school a teacher, now a mentor and friend, helped me overcome my fear of “rolling” in a kayak (capsizing and then righting yourself). The constant encouragement to overcome my fear and work under pressure taught me the value of perseverance — sometimes you have to take the risk of capsizing to get the reward!

“Stay focused on your goals, stay positive in the face of challenges and never stop learning and growing. But also, appreciate the love and support of friends and family.”

When looking back on my journey to where I am now, I realise that there were times in my past when I became discouraged by setbacks and failures and I wish that I could remind myself that those experiences were essential to my growth and development. Each challenge I faced and overcame was a stepping stone to the next level of success and I needed to trust that the path I was on would eventually lead me to where I am today. I would also advise my younger self to take time out to focus on friendships and family – sometimes meeting friends or spending time with family is more important than work. When the chips are down, these are the people you’ll come to rely on.

In five years, I would love to see South Africa thriving as a nation. Our country has so much potential but it will never reach its peak until our political leaders mature enough to focus on serving the country rather than their own interests. Healthcare is a key aspect of this. I hope that in five years our public health system has improved so that all South Africans can access quality healthcare, regardless of their socio-economic status. Also, no more load-shedding would be nice …

View previous winners from 2018 to 2022

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