The med student stereotype calls to mind an individual driven by ambition, with their face buried in a book or peering into a microscope. The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine sought to shake up that image last year by resorting to verse. And the Pritzker Poetry Contest was born.
“The medical community has found it quite easy to identify means of extolling knowledge and expertise as important attributes of the healthcare provider,” Dr. James Woodruff, associate dean of students, said in a news release. “Identifying a means of celebrating compassion has proven a tougher nut to crack.”
The winner of the second annual contest was Lindsay Poston, a first-year medical student and former humanities major at Gonzaga University. Her poem, “One More Cut,” recalls her experiences at a palliative-care center and details the decision of a dying patient to decline more surgery.
Open to all university medicine and biological sciences division students and employees, the contest drew 110 entries. Posten's work was described as conveying a moving spirit of empathy, generosity and care.