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Gerald F. Berlin Prizes for Creative Writing to be presented on April 28

Annual narrative medicine competition encourages reflection by health care providers

UMass Chan Medical School Communications

April 20, 2022

The 18th Annual Gerald F. Berlin Prizes for Creative Writing award ceremony and readings will be conducted remotely on Thursday, April 28, at 6 p.m. The prizes are awarded for creative writing, prose and poetry by medical, nursing and doctoral students, and residents and fellows at UMass Chan Medical School, Berkshire Medical Center, Worcester Medical Center/St. Vincent's Hospital and Baystate Medical Center.

The awards are sponsored by the Humanities in Medicine Committee of the Lamar Soutter Library and funded by a donation from Richard M. Berlin, MD, instructor in psychiatry. Dr. Berlin, a widely published poet and practicing psychiatrist, established the competition to encourage reflection via creative writing among those studying medicine and to honor his father who struggled with a severe chronic illness.

First place winner Dhanya Kumar will receive $100 and her piece will be published in Worcester Medicine and The Interstitium. Second prize winner Sean Boyden and third prize winner Lucy Xu will also have their pieces published in The Interstitium.

The Interstitium was started as a T.H. Chan School of Medicine Capstone Project in 2019. It is a blog that serves as a multimedia, online home for the UMass Chan community members to reflect on their experiences. 

David Hatem, MD, professor of medicine and co-chair of the Humanities in Medicine Committee, will serve as master of ceremonies. Dr. Berlin will introduce the awards’ genesis and history, followed by awardees reading excerpts from their work.

Attendees can join this year’s event via Zoom; preregistration is not required.

2022 Gerald F. Berlin Prize recipients:
First Prize:
Dhanya Kumar, third-year medical student, for Heart Failures
Second Prize: Sean Boyden, third-year medical student, for Simple Tasks
Third Prize: Lucy Xu, third-year medical student, for The Good Kind of Pain

Honorable mentions:
Zachary Cartun, second-year medical student, for The Pawn
Atinuke G. Oyinbo, PhD candidate, for Child is Wealth
Megan Hansen, third-year medical student, for Depth
Jan Sjoquist, third-year medical student, for Hotel Uterus
Irina Radu, MD, postdoctoral research fellow, for Ode to the Mask
Kasturi Biswas, PhD candidate, for Siren and the Shattered Mirror
Collin Leibold, second-year medical student, for Softball