The BSANZ Medical Student Reflective Essay Competition 2017

The Board of the Balint Society of Australia and New Zealand (BSANZ) now invites medical students in Australia and New Zealand to submit an essay to the BSANZ Essay Competition for 2017.

This reflective essay should describe a student-patient relationship, an experience, or experiences, from within the student’s medical studies and include critical reflection on personal meetings with patients. Material already used for course work can be re-worked for submission, but previously published work for medical theses or diplomas should not be submitted. Each essay should include:

Description: A detailed presentation of a personal experience of a student-patient interaction or relationship.

Reflection: Review or reflection on how the student experienced this relationship, either individually or as part of the medical team. Analysis should include the student’s own perception of the situation, the challenges faced and how he or she responded.

Implications or ‘critical reflection’: Discussion about ways in which the student’s own approach might change in the future, and/or also possible ways in which medical training might enhance the capacity of students to engage thoughtfully and compassionately in patient care.

Submissions are to be sent by email to: and must be received by midnight AEST, Wednesday 31 May, 2017.


  • The Lawrence Gilbert Memorial Prizes of A$500 will be awarded to the two top essays.
  • The top 2-3 essays will be submitted to the Journal of the Balint Society UK for possible publication (see
  • Winners or runner-ups may be offered subsidised attendance at BSANZ annual workshops in Australia or NZ.

Helpful tips

  • Please include a short and accurate title that reflects the content of the essay.
  • Essays must be in English, between 1000 and 2000 words.
  • Please use 12-point font, 1.5 spacing, Word documents only, not PDF
  • The essay should focus on the student-patient relationship rather than on ethical analysis
  • The Annual Residential Balint Workshop for 2017 will be held in Tasmania from 2nd-5th November 2017 at The Old Woolstore, Hobart. By invitation only, limited places may be available for medical students.Dr Hamish Wilson, University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ, and Alexa Gilbert-Obrart from Sydney, Australia will curate the competition.
    For further information including the winning essays 2015 see the links at the top right of the page.