Dr. Hope Babette Tang Humanism in Healthcare Essay Contest

The annual Dr. 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 healthcare team member (doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers, pharmacists, patients and families, etc.) worked to ensure that humanism was at the core of care. Submissions that touch upon students’ personal experiences of humanistic care or stories of family and friends are also accepted.

The 2024 Dr. Hope Babette Tang Humanism in Healthcare Essay Contest has closed. An announcement about selected essays is forthcoming.

First-, second-, and third-place essays for both nursing and medical students are chosen by a panel including healthcare professionals, writers/journalists, and educators.

Winners receive monetary awards of $1000, $500 and $250, respectively, and their essays are published in Academic Medicine and The Journal of Professional Nursing in the fall.

For details, visit Eligibility, Selection Criteria, and Process.

2024 Dr. Hope Babette Tang Humanism in Healthcare Essay Contest Prompt

Using the following quote, reflect on an experience in any healthcare setting where you or another healthcare team member worked to put the person at the center of care.

“The practice of medicine is an art, not a trade; a calling, not a business; a calling in which your heart will be exercised equally with your head.” — William Osler

Who was Dr. Hope Babette Tang?

The essay contest is named in memory of Hope Babette Tang, MD, an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and the Pediatric Medical Director of the hospital’s HIV clinic until her death in 1998 at age 36. Dr. Tang’s patients were often facing numerous obstacles on top of their devastating medical challenges, which made healing even more difficult. Her mantra in caring for her patients was “Whatever it takes.” Her approach meant she saw the person in front of her, not just their medical situation. Many of her acts of caring only came to be known after her death. She treated the whole patient, a hallmark of humanistic care.

2023 Medical Student Winners

First Place | “The Nail Salon”
Federico Erhart
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Read the essay.

 

 

Second Place | “I See You”
Riley Plett
University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine
Read the essay.

 

 

Third Place | “The Gift of Grief”
Emily Otiso
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Read the essay.

2023 Nursing Student Winners


First Place | “The Window”
Courtney Polimeni
Washington State University College of Nursing
Read the essay.

 

Second Place | “The Unspoken Language of Compassion”
Leah Rothchild
MGH Institute of Health Professions School of Nursing
Read the essay.

 

 

Third Place | “The Momentum of Human Kindness”
Nicole Diddi
University of Nevada at Las Vegas
Read the essay.

 

 

Read the full announcement of the 2023 winners.

Hear 2022 Essay Winners read and share about their essay through the Gold Connection Podcast

Jessica Pierce, who won first place for nursing students students in the 2022 contest, reads her winning essay, "As the Sun Sets." The reading is followed by a conversation with Jessica and Gold Foundation Editor in Chief Brianne Alcala, exploring the writing process. Jessica is pursuing her doctoral degree in Nurse Anesthesia at Oregon Health & Science University. Listen here
Square image with Molly Fessler's headshot and the words On Writing "Every Patient After" Molly Fessler, who won second place for medical students in the 2022 contest, reads her winning essay, “Every Patient After.” That reading is followed by a conversation with Molly and Gold Foundation Editor in Chief Brianne Alcala, exploring the writing process. Molly is a fourth-year student at the University of Michigan Medical School. Listen here
Mason Blacker, a medical student at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, won first place for medical students in the 2022 contest. In this podcast episode, he reads his winning essay, “The Light.” The reading is followed by a conversation with Mason and Gold Foundation Editor in Chief Brianne Alcala, exploring the writing process. Listen here

 

For more information about the Gold Foundation programs or their status, please contact Director of Program Initiatives Michelle Sloane at msloane@gold-foundation.org.