The BSANZ Medical Student Reflective Essay Competition

The Balint Society of Australia and New Zealand has announced the winners from the 2023 Medical Student Reflective Essay Competition.

There were a record 89 entries this year, with a very high standard of writing covering a wide range of topics.  After several rounds of reviewing, the reviewers are pleased to announce the top 12 essays as listed in the table below.

Congratulations to Megan Torpey and Taneka Tezak who received The Lawrence Gilbert Memorial Prizes.  Runners up were Geetika Malhotra, Alisha Sethi, Dikshya Parajuli and Tuyen Pham.  Links to all these essays will be listed in due course.

Our thanks go to the local and international group of essay reviewers who did an amazing job this year.

Student name Essay title University
Megan Torpey Its OK Gary I’ll listen to you University of New South Wales
Taneka Tezak The Tears You Don’t Expect Griffith University
Geetika Malhotra A parallel consult Monash University
Alisha Sethi A Difficult Patient University of Sydney
Dikshya Parajuli As much an Art as it is a Science University of Otago
Tuyen Pham An Unexpected Friend Monash University
Tamarangi Keerthipala Our Bridge to Marta University of Adelaide
Zayn Al-Timimi Beneath the Surface University of New South Wales
Madi Randall He Tangata University of Auckland
Samuel Verschaffelt Life, Death and Football University of Otago
Elise Drum I’m just the medical student University of New South Wales
Eleanor Andrew Where do I fit in? University of Western Australia

Results and essays from previous competitions can also be accessed through the links listed below.

Essay requirements for the next competition in 2025 are listed as well, with a submission date expected to be in July 2025.  We look forward to hearing from you then.

Hamish Wilson (Dunedin, NZ) and Alexa Gilbert-Obrart (Sydney Australia)
Conveners on behalf of the BSANZ


2025 Essay Requirements for Medical Student Writing Prize


Medical Student Writing Prize 2021 Results

There were 45 entries in 2021, with a very high standard of writing. Congratulations to Madison Booth and Stephanie Lee who received The Lawrence Gilbert Memorial Prizes.

We would like to congratulate all the students for their perceptive essays about their interactions with significant patients, as well as for their insights about the nature of clinical training and medical practice. Four essays from the 2021 competition were published in medical journals (Journal of Primary Health Care (NZ) and The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine (US)).

Many thanks to students and our reviewers who have made this essay competition such a success.

Alexa Gilbert-Obrart and Hamish Wilson
On behalf of the BSANZ.

Winning essays from 2021

Too Momentous for Words, by Madison Booth (University of Queensland)

Beyond the Medical, by Stephanie Lee (Bond University)

An unexpected journey, by Thomas Swinburn (Auckland Medical School)

Homecoming, by Rebecca Gandhi (Auckland Medical School)




Further information about past winners of the Medical Student Reflective Essay Competition is available here.