The BSANZ Medical Student Reflective Essay Competition

The Board of the Balint Society of Australia and New Zealand (BSANZ)  invites medical students in Australia and New Zealand to submit an essay to the BSANZ Essay Competition, which is held every two years.

The next competition will be held in 2019; The opening date will be 1 February 2019 and the closing date will be Sunday 28 April (note change in date). 

The judges are delighted and moved by the standard of entries received in the 2017 competition.
The prizewinning essays are published on this website, see the links at the top right of the page.

General information:

Reflective essays submitted 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 for 2019 are to be sent by email to: balintsecretary@gmail.com.

Students entering the competition will also receive the regular BSANZ email newsletter about the activities of the Society.
There is an unsubscribe option at the bottom of every email so you you may opt off at any time.  

Prizes

  • The Lawrence Gilbert Memorial Prizes of A$500 is awarded to each of the two top essays.
  • If students are willing, the top essays will be submitted for publication to the relevant medical journals.
  • Winners or runners-up may be offered subsidised attendance at BSANZ annual workshops in Australia or NZ.

Helpful tips

  • Please give your essay a short and accurate title that reflects its content
  • Essays must be in English, between 1000 and 2000 words
  • Please use 12-point font, 1.5 spacing, Word documents only, not PDF
  • Essays should focus on the student-patient relationship rather than on ethical analysis
  • Explain all abbreviations or acronyms. Use pseudonyms rather than patients’ initials.
  • Previously submitted course work must be carefully reworked to de-identify the course, the university and city or town
  • For further information including the top essays from 2015 and 2017, see the links at the top right of the page.

BSANZ Writing Prize: Results and top essays 2015

International Balint Federation Ascona Prize