Hope Babette Tang Humanism in Healthcare Essay Contest

The winners of the 2021 Hope Babette Tang Humanism in Healthcare Essay Contest have been announced! Read the news release and find more information below on this page.

For the 2021 contest, using the following quote as inspiration, medical and nursing students were asked to reflect on humanism in healthcare during the past difficult year using your experiences or observations, as an individual or as a team (doctors, nurses, therapists, etc.)

“We’ll observe how the burdens braved by humankind
Are also the moments that make us humans kind;
Let each morning find us courageous, brought closer;
Heeding the light before the fight is over.
When this ends, we’ll smile sweetly, finally seeing
In testing times, we became the best of beings.”

– Excerpt from “The Miracle of Morning,” by Amanda Gorman

About the Contest

The annual Hope Babette Tang Humanism in Healthcare Essay Contest asks medical and nursing students to engage in a reflective writing exercise that illustrates an experience where they or a team member worked to ensure that humanism was at the core of care. First-, second-, and third-place essays for both nursing and medical students will be chosen by a panel including healthcare professionals, writers/journalists, and educators. Read about the 2021 winners.

Who was Dr. Hope Babette Tang?

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.

Who Is Eligible to Enter?

The essay contest is open to medical students at Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) member schools in the U.S. and Canada and nursing students at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) member schools, as well as certain international medical schools.
Medical schools must have at least preliminary accreditation status from AAMC and AACOM. International medical schools must have a fully chartered (post pilot phase) chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

Honoring the Winners

Winners receive a monetary award of up to $1,000, and first-, second-, and third-place nursing and medical student essays will be published in Academic Medicine, the journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, and The Journal of Professional Nursing, of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

2021 Medical Student Winners

First Place | “Dear Reader”
Ross Perry
University of California, Davis School of Medicine

Second Place | “Motherhouse”
Davina Ran
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

Third Place | “Someone Else’s Mother”
Fletcher Bell
Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

2021 Nursing Student Winners


First Place | “New Constellations”
Hunter Marshall
University of New Mexico College of Nursing

Second Place | “Nurses Encounter Diversity”
Anna Swartzlander
University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing

Third Place | “Empty Beds”
Jessica Grey
University of Massachusetts, Amherst College of Nursing

2021 Honorable Mentions

  • Rebekah Boyd, fourth year, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, “Bound Together”
  • Michaele Francesco Corbisiero, second year, University of Colorado School of Medicine, “Through the Partition: Medical Care in Detention Centers”
  • Levi Brice Edouna Obama, fourth year, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, “Vox”
  • Benjamin Elliott, second year, Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of Pikeville, “Cerumen and Cisplatin”
  • Kristopher Jackson, nurse practitioner and PhD candidate, University of New Mexico School of Nursing, “Empathy and Expletives”
  • Jenna Nowlin, second-year master’s student, Regis College, Young School of Nursing, “Untitled”
  • Bharat Sanders, fourth year, Medical College of Georgia, “Taking Back Our Empathy:
  • Reflections on a New Model of Medical Education”
  • Yichi Zhang, Tulane University School of Medicine, “Smile”
  • Brian Zhao, third year, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, “Untitled”

2021 Reviewers

Penny Armstrong, CNM, MSN Writer/Midwife
Kathy Burke, PhD Ramapo College
Sally Cohen NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
Jack Coulehan, MD, MPH Stony Brook University
Marie Perillo Dworkin Stony Brook University
Jennifer Fisher Wilson Medical Writer/Editor
Ellen Ford Freelance Editor
Laura Fratello, MD Physician
Barbara Gastel, MD Texas A&M College of Medicine
Deepu Gowda, MD, MPH Columbia University
Rebecca Horn
Trent Kays, PhD Hampton University
Perri Klass, MD New York University School of Medicine
Kathy McGuinn, MSN, RN, CPHQ, FNAP American Association of Colleges of Nursing
Laure Park Endo International
Kathy Pecht Leonia Arts
Tom Rosenal University of Calgary
Patricia Sexton, MS, DHEd, FNAOME Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
Nina Stoyan-Rosenzweig Florida College of Medicine
Craig Wynne, PhD University of the District of Columbia
George A. Zangaro, PhD, RN, FAAN American Association of Colleges of Nursing