Student Voice Prize 2019
Last month the winning essays from the Student Voice Prize 2019 were published in celebration of Rare Disease Day 2020! You can read all of them in full by following the links below and read the shortened runner-up blogs as part of the BMC’s On Medicine blog. The overall winner has been published in the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases. If you didn’t get a chance to enter in 2019, make sure you look out for the competition this Autumn by following M4RD and signing up to our newsletter.
We would like to offer a huge congratulations to all of our winners, and a massive thank you to this year’s sponsors, judges, and our partner Findacure for helping to make the competition such a success.
You can read all the winning essays by clicking on the links below.
Anna-Lucia Koerling, University of Cambridge, “No Friends 1“
Anna-Lucia’s essay beautifully illustrated why we need to treat the patient, not the disease. So often patients are reduced to bed numbers or to which clinical examination they have the best signs for. But Anna-Lucia’s interaction with ‘David’ is an eloquent reminder that patients are much more than their presenting complaint and they don’t cease to exist outside the clinical setting. Plus she gives pragmatic and simple ways to improve the patient experience. It was an excellent essay and a pleasure to read. You can watch Anna-Lucia’s beautiful talk at The Royal Society of Medicine about David and her essay here.
The Runners Up
Sandy Ayoub, St George’s University of London, “Dual Deprivation for Rare Disease“
Sandy teamed up with the patient group, FOP and Friends, to talk directly to a patient living with a rare disease. Her insightful and compassionate essay is a testament to the rapport she built up with the patient and his mother. She explores the intimate relationship between rare disease and mental health. Sandy gave a presentation about her experience at The Findacure Drug Repurposing Conference 2020 which you can watch to here.
Anneliese Ng, The University of Western Australia, “No Country for Healthcare Equity“
Anneliese brought something completely new to the Student Voice Prize. She looked at health inequality within rare diseases between different populations of the same country. Anneliese is a student in Western Australia and her essay focused on the difference between outcomes for aboriginal and non-aboriginal populations. We were lucky to have Anneliese join us all the way from Australia for the M4RD symposium and the Findacure Drug Repurposing Conference.
Muhammed Shaikh, University of Leicester, “Improving Rare Disease Recognition Via Medical Education“
Muhammed tackled the problem of how to improve the patient experience through medical education. His essay made some really interesting arguments including thinking of ‘The Rare Disease Patient’ as a model akin to ‘The Polypharmacy Patient’ or ‘The Patient with Multiple Comorbidities’. As rare diseases don’t belong to anyone specialty, this approach could help us systematically include rare disease in medial education. Something that we want to explore further. Well done Muhammed!