The secrets we keep: Hiding your personal life in medicine

By Stephen Surace, Writing Competition Honourable Mention 2016

Topic 1: Write about your experiences studying medicine with a disability, mental illness or as a part of a marginalised group

At first I was excited by the opportunity to write about being a minority in medicine. Finally, a chance to release all the drama and excitement that I must surely have bottled up. However there was just one problem: except for one noteworthy time, I have kept my sexuality very separate from medicine.

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“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses – I need someone to test these medications on”

By Sameer Sharma, Writing Competition Second Prize 2016

Topic 2: Write a persuasive piece detailing your controversial opinion on a contentious topic

It’s enjoyable to attack corporations that prey on human frailty. Whether it’s Martin Shkreli being eviscerated by interviewers, or the Mylan CEO being admonished by US Congress for Epipen price increases, we love to sit back and watch the fat cat be slapped. A lot of this is fair – big pharmaceutical companies are occasionally predatory, or use vested interests to alter research outcomes. We very rarely hear about, however, some of the good things they do – compassionate access for unreleased medication, or undirected research scholarships. Continue reading

Medical idolisation: The curse and the cure

By Rose Brazilek, Writing Competition First Prize 2016

Topic 3: Does popular culture’s depiction of medicine do more harm than good?

From Scrubs to Grey’s Anatomy, television shows depicting doctors appear to be sure-fire media sensations. Initially omnipotent and superlative in early shows such as Ben Casey and Dr Kildcare, portrayals have shifted to the ‘anti-heroes’ of today in House, Grey’s Anatomy and  ER.  ‘Cultivation theory’ proposes televised narratives are the basis of cultivation of assumptions and conceptions concerning cultural norms, memes and values. It is this theory which may explain the importance of physician portrayal in all forms of media, and how perception of medical professionals has altered as the televised climate has similarly shifted.

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