Balint Essay Contests

Results of the BSANZ Medical Student Essay Competition, 2017

This is the second essay competition curated by the BSANZ. This year’s competition has been an outstanding success, with 84 entries from a range of medical schools in Australia and New Zealand.

We have now completed a quite rigorous reviewing process and are pleased to announce the two winners being Annabelle Hughes from Griffith University (‘Lessons from Luna’) and Isabel Hanson from Sydney University (‘Between a beginning and an end’). These students are recipients of the Lawrence Gilbert Memorial Prizes of A$500. Runner-up was Simon Chadwick, also from Sydney (‘Sharing the little lights’) who receives $250. The top 2 students also receive a BSANZ funded scholarship to attend the Balint Society Annual Residential Workshop to be held in November 2017 in Hobart. We are now arranging for the top essays to published in medical journals.

We felt the standard of description, reflection and writing was very high this year. The table below is a list of the top 30 essays. These essays focused more particularly on the student-patient relationship, and in many instances, the patient benefitted in some way from those interactions. It is very heartening to read from so many students of 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 as a doctor. The next competition will be held in 2019.

Hamish Wilson and Alexa Gilbert-Obrart
August, 2017


Runner Up

(pdf)Highly commended

WHITMORE, KirstyGriffith UniversityTrust
HOLLAND, CarissaGriffith UniversityThe Way You Looked At Me
TRILOKEKAR, NatashaUniversity of AucklandBroken-hearted
MONTELEONI, NatinaUniversity of TasmaniaCrossing Paths
HARVEY, ChristopherUniversity of TasmaniaKnowing What you Don’t Know
TAN, HeatherUniversity of TasmaniaIt is the Small Things
LOW, ElizabethMonash UniversityDancing the Shoreline Called Uncertainty


PARKER, ClareUniversity of MelbourneHuman Patients: Seeing the person behind the disease
XIAN, SusanUniversity of OtagoHealth Care of the Elderly – Case History One
PATERSON, JeannineGriffith UniversitySmall Scar or Giant Keloid
NG, DianaUniversity of AucklandWith Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
HO, MarkusUniversity of OtagoKāinga rima – The Ambulance at the Bottom of the Cliff
TIE, TiffanyMonashListen
Du TOIT, MarieJames Cook UniversityReflection on Personal Emotional Processing When a Young Patient Dies
PO, WilliamUniversity of MelbourneImprisoned
JEN, RogerSydney UniversityHere’s Looking at you, Kid
SOO, LaiMelbourneThe Miracle of Birth
WAHAB, SakeenahUNSWFundamentalsFoundationsRudimentary
MOHAMED, Fardowsa University of OtagoDoing Better
ALEXANDER, LindaNotre Dame FremantleThe Patient I never Met
DAWES, KathrynMonashMinefield at the Museum
RANN, HelenaMonashHolding Hands
ARNOLD, LaurenUniversity of OtagoIt Hurts Because we Care
WEE, IanUNSW“Listen to understand”, not “listen to reply”
THEIS, NicholasUniversity of OtagoFinding the Story within the History
TIE, TiffanyMonashListen
LEUNG, VivienaUNSW(Pre) Conceptions


3rd biennial Enid Balint Essay Contest sponsored by the American Balint Society (ABS)

The ABS is an educational organization dedicated to curricular efforts to increase health professional understanding and skill in the effective use of the doctor-patient relationship. Key points for the 2017 Enid Balint Essay Contest:

-Contest is open to all students and residents in the health care professions in the United States and Canada.
-Purpose of contest:  to encourage students and residents to reflect on their patient encounters and to inspire others in their caring relationships.
-Entries of 2500-3500 words are due December 31, 2017.
-Winners to be announced in early April, 2018.
-Up to 3 winning essayists will be selected; winning essays will be invited to read their papers at the biennial ABS National Meeting (Minneapolis, MN, July 25-28, 2018).
-Winning essays will also be published in the Medline referenced International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine.

Please see the link below for more information:

2017 Balint Essay Contest 1.pdf

Leave a Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *