The BSANZ Medical Student Reflective Essay Competition

Results of the 2019 BSANZ Essay Competition

The 2019 competition is the third biennial essay competition run by the BSANZ. This year’s competition has been an outstanding success, with entries from a range of medical schools in Australia and New Zealand.

We wish to thank Alexa Gilbert-Obrart and Associate Professor Hamish Wilson for their tireless and dedicated work in organizing and administering the competition on behalf of the Board.

There were 75 entries from medical schools around NZ and Australia. The judging was done by a panel of local and international judges. The judges felt that the standard of description, reflection and writing was very high.

It was very heartening to read from so many students about their compassion and commitment to patient welfare. The 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 in ways expected of doctors. Many of the essays focused on death and dying issues; this is not surprising, as facing such clinical problems is one of the main challenges in developing one’s own professional identity. Such topics also seemed to lead to authentic personal reflections; many essays were quite poignant, while also illustrating considerable insight.

The top two students will be awarded the Lawrence Gilbert Memorial Prizes of $A500 dollars each, as well as the BSANZ scholarship of $A1300 each to cover registration to attend the 12th Annual BSANZ Balint Group Workshop being held in Melbourne in October 2019.

The top essays (with permission) are published in this section of the website. See the link on the right side of the page.

Medical students interested in exploring the Balint Group method of case discussion and peer group discussion will find further information on this website. Many medical students in the UK are now part of such groups, and we hope that more schools in Australia will soon offer Balint groups as well.

The Balint Society of Australia and New Zealand will hold a mini-congress in Brisbane in October 2020. There may be opportunities for more students to attend the 2020 Congress and to join a student-focused group during the Congress.

Medical Student Writing Prize 2021

The Board of the Balint Society of Australia and New Zealand (BSANZ) will invite medical students in Australia and New Zealand in 2021 to submit an essay to the BSANZ Essay Competition, which is held every two years.




BSANZ Writing Prize : Results and top essays 2019


BSANZ Writing Prize : Results and top essays 2017


BSANZ Writing Prize : Results and top essays 2015


International Balint Federation Ascona Prize