Hope Babette Tang Humanism in Healthcare Essay Contest

The Hope Babette Tang Humanism in Healthcare Essay Contest asks medical students to engage in a reflective writing exercise around a prompt or quote related to humanism in medicine. First, second, and third place essays are chosen by a panel of physicians and accomplished writers.

Our 2015 contest winner, Dr. Joanna Sharpless reads her essay at the Golden Thread Gala in New York City.

Hope Babette Tang-Goodwin, MD was an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, whose devotion and generosity to the care of the children and infants with HIV infection in New York City was an inspiration to her colleagues and her students. Her approach to medicine combined a boundless enthusiasm for her work, intellectual rigor and deep compassion for her patients. In sum, Hope was a Gold DOC – an exemplar of excellent, compassionate and respectful patient care.

2017 Essay Prompt

Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity (Pema Chodron)
Using the quote as a reflective prompt, write an essay based on a true story or anecdote that illustrates an experience where you or a team member worked to ensure that humanism (compassionate, collaborative, scientifically excellent care) was at the core of medical practice.

Who Is Eligible?

Open to medical students in the US.

To date, we have received over 3,000 essays.

2017 Essay Contest

All essays must be submitted using the online form. Do not include your name or school’s name on the attached essay document. Submit an essay of 1,000 words or less based on the following prompt.

Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity (Pema Chodron)
Using the quote as a reflective prompt, write an essay based on a true story or anecdote that illustrates an experience where you or a team member worked to ensure that humanism (compassionate, collaborative, scientifically excellent care) was at the core of medical practice.

Deadline to submit: March 24, 2017

Honoring the Winners

Winners receive a monetary award of up to $1000 and their winning essays are published in Academic Medicine, the journal of the Association of American Colleges (AAMC).

2016 Contest Details

Students were asked to write a 1,000 word submission on the following prompt:

“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.” – Etty Hillesum
Talk about a time when you or a team member had to step back and practice self-care while helping a patient.

First Place

 Your Soul is Not Concrete
Michelle Izmaylov, 3rd year student at Vanderbilt University

Second Place

The Power of Walking
Marie Boller, 3rd year student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Third Place

  Hand in Hand
Neha Verma, 1st year student at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2016 Honorable Mentions

  • Emily Berger, 3rd Year, University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • Narine Wandrey, 2nd Year, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
  • Hilary Cornell, 3rd Year, Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine
  • Stefanie Gillson, 3rd Year, University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Nicole Pristera, 4th Year, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • Clancy Mullan, 2nd Year, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine
  • Weston LaGrandeur, 2nd Year, University of Arizona College of Medicine-Tucson
  • Maili Lim, 1st Year, University of North Carolina School of Medicine
  • Melanie Levy, 3rd Year, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
  • Kevin McGurk, 3rd Year, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

2016 Reviewers

Annie Brewster, MD
Health Story Collaborative Founder and Executive Director

Arlene Katz, EdD
Lecturer on Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Barbara Gastel, MD
Professor, Texas A&M

Barbara Sadick
Freelance Health Writer

Craig Wynne, PhD
Assistant Professor, Hampton University

Deepu Gowda, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University

Ellen Ford
Freelance, Editor

Emily Morgan
English Instructor, John Tyler Community College

Jack Coulehan, MD, MPH
Emeritus Professor of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine Stony Brook University

Jamesetta Halley-Boyce, PhD, RN
Associate Professor, Seton Hall University

Jennifer Fisher Wilson
Medical Writer/Editor, Thomas Jefferson University

Jessie Findlay
Senior Story Producer at Travel Channel

Joanna Sachar
Editor-in-Chief and Vice President (retired), Macmillan Publishing Company

Joseph Zuckerman, MD
Walter A.L. Thompson Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, New York University School of Medicine

Johanna Shapiro, PhD
Director, Program in Medical Humanities & Arts, University of California, Irvine

Judith Hannan
Writer

Kathy Pecht
Founder, Leonia Arts

Kyle Nash, DMin
Clinical Thanatologist, McLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, University of Chicago Pritzker

Laura Fratello
Infectious Disease Specialist

Lawrence K. Altman, MD
Writer, New York Times

Lisa Becker
Writer

Lisa Wong, MD
Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Marcia Day Childress, PhD
Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities, University of Virginia School of Medicine

Marcia Soltes
Writer

Marguerite J. Purnell, PhD, RN1
Professor Emeritus, Editor, Journal of Art and Aesthetics in Nursing and Health Sciences

Nina Stoyan-Rosenzweig
Director, Medical Humanities Program, University of Florida College of Medicine

Paul Gross, MD
Editor-in-chief, Pulse – Voices from the heart of medicine

Penny Armstrong, CNM, MSN
Writer, Midwife

Scott Alderman
Executive Director, Center for Narrative Practice

Serena J. Fox, MD, PhD
Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Attending, Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center

Stephen Borg
Publisher, North Jersey Media Companies

Therese Jones, PhD
Director of the Arts and Humanities in Healthcare Program, University of Colorado Denver

Thomas Dahlborg
President of Dahlborg Healthcare Leadership Group (DHLG)

Tom Rosenal, MD, FRCPC
Associate Professor Emeritus, University of Calgary

Trent Kays, PhD
Assistant Professor, English and Modern Foreign Languages, Hampton University