BSANZ Writing Prize: Results and top essays 2017

Results of the BSANZ Medical Student Essay Competition, 2017
September 2017
This is the second essay competition curated by the BSANZ. This year’s competition has been an outstanding success, with 84 entries from medical schools in both Australia and New Zealand.

With thanks to our dedicated group of reviewers, we have now completed a quite rigorous reviewing process and are pleased to announce the two winners. These are Annabelle Hughes from Griffith University (‘Lessons from Luna’) and Isabel Hanson from Sydney University (‘Between a beginning and an end’). These students are recipients of the Lawrence Gilbert Memorial Prizes of A$500. Runner-up was Simon Chadwick, also from Sydney (‘Sharing the little lights’), who receives $250. Annabelle and Isabel have accepted BSANZ funded scholarships to attend the Balint Society Annual Residential Workshop to be held in November 2017 in Hobart. We are also helping to facilitate publication of the top 5 essays in journals in the UK and US.

We felt the standard of description, reflection and writing was very high this year. The table below is a list of 30 essays that focused more particularly on the student-patient relationship; in many instances, the patient benefitted in some way from those interactions. It is very heartening to read from so many students of their compassion and commitment to patient welfare. Their essays also revealed many of the challenges in being a medical student, such as how to maintain one’s own personal identity while also learning how to act and behave as a doctor.

The next competition will be held in 2019.

Dr Hamish Wilson and Alexa Gilbert-Obrart (Curators)
Anne Malecki (Administration)


Name University Title of essay
HUGHES, Annabelle Griffith University Lessons from Luna
HANSON, Isabel Sydney University Between a Beginning and an End

Runner Up

CHADWICK, Simon Sydney University Sharing the Little Lights

Highly commended

WHITMORE, Kirsty Griffith University Trust
HOLLAND, Carissa Griffith University The Way You Looked At Me
TRILOKEKAR, Natasha University of Auckland Broken-hearted
MONTELEONI, Natina University of Tasmania Crossing Paths
HARVEY, Christopher University of Tasmania Knowing What you Don’t Know
TAN, Heather University of Tasmania It is the Small Things
LOW, Elizabeth Monash University Dancing the Shoreline Called Uncertainty


PARKER, Clare University of Melbourne Human Patients: Seeing the person behind the disease
XIAN, Susan University of Otago Health Care of the Elderly – Case History One
PATERSON, Jeannine Griffith University Small Scar or Giant Keloid
NG, Diana University of Auckland With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
HO, Markus University of Otago Kāinga rima – The Ambulance at the Bottom of the Cliff
TIE, Tiffany Monash Listen
Du TOIT, Marie James Cook University Reflection on Personal Emotional Processing When a Young Patient Dies
PO, William University of Melbourne Imprisoned
JEN, Roger Sydney University Here’s Looking at you, Kid
SOO, Lai Melbourne The Miracle of Birth
WAHAB, Sakeenah UNSW Fundamentals  Foundations  Rudimentary
MOHAMED, Fardowsa University of Otago Doing Better
ALEXANDER, Linda Notre Dame Fremantle The Patient I never Met
DAWES, Kathryn Monash Minefield at the Museum
RANN, Helena Monash Holding Hands
ARNOLD, Lauren University of Otago It Hurts Because we Care
WEE, Ian UNSW “Listen to understand”, not “listen to reply”
THEIS, Nicholas University of Otago Finding the Story within the History
TIE, Tiffany Monash Listen
LEUNG, Viviena UNSW (Pre) Conceptions