Eligibility, Selection Criteria, and Process

Following are details about contest eligibility and the review and selection process.


The essay contest is open to medical students at schools that are members of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) and nursing students at schools that are members of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

Nursing students must be pursuing a bachelor’s or baccalaureate degree or higher (i.e. master’s, doctorate, etc. are acceptable).

Students at international medical schools that have a Gold Humanism Honors Society (GHHS) chapter are also eligible.

Medical schools must have at least preliminary accreditation status from AAMC and AACOM.

2023 Hope Babette Tang Humanism in Healthcare Essay Contest Prompt

“I want to give you something, or I want to take something from you. But I want to feel the exchange, the warm hand on the shoulder, the song coming out and the ear holding onto it.”

-Ada Limón, U.S. Poet Laureate, from the poem “How Far Away We Are”

Review Process

The Gold Foundation includes outside experts to support the review process and make recommendations to the Gold Foundation.

Judges will be looking for essays that connect strongly to the Gold Foundation’s mission of humanism in healthcare for all. Winning essays will illuminate how the human connection can make a meaningful difference in care.

Based on these external recommendations and internal reviews from Gold Foundation staff, Essay Contest winners are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Narrative content (the piece is compelling, thought-provoking, or resonates with the mission of the Gold Foundation.)
  • Demonstration of strong writing style (grammar, spelling, structure, etc)
  • Reflection of the annual prompt

The Gold Foundation champions humanism in healthcare, which we define as compassionate, collaborative, and scientifically excellent care. Winners of the Essay Contest are expected to reflect these values in daily practice and to continuously strive to be exemplars of humanism in healthcare.

How to Enter

The 2023 essay contest is now closed and we are no longer accepting submissions. Essays are under review and we expect to conclude the selection process by the end of May.

By submitting an essay to the contest you agree to abide by the Essay Contest Terms and Conditions.

To ensure that you are made aware of this open call each year, sign up for the Gold Foundation’s monthly newsletter, News and Notes.

Honoring the Winners

Winners receive a monetary award of up to $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, and $250 for third place.

The nursing and medical student essays will be published both in Academic Medicine, the journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, and The Journal of Professional Nursing, published by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.