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SCMS 2022 Mentor-Mentee Art, Poetry & Essay Contest Winners Announced

SCMS 2022 Mentor-Mentee Art, Poetry & Essay Contest Winners Announced

The Spokane County Medical Society’s (SCMS) Medical Education Committee announced medical students Sue Winger and Basil Wendel as the two $500 award winners for their Mentor-Mentee Art, Poetry & Essay Contest held in March, generously funded by the Spokane County Medical Society Foundation. 

During this continued time of COVID, the Medical Education Committee (MEC) explored avenues to help promote wellness and social wellbeing among our Spokane medical/PA students last year, and there was such a great response, decided to offer a contest again this year. “Since COVID and how it affects them individually is never far from their thoughts, we felt this year’s contest would be a thoughtful way to share some positive experiences with students, physicians and other members of the healthcare community that may lead to opportunities to support each other,” stated Dr. Judy Swanson, Co-chair of the Medical Education Committee. “It promotes health and wellbeing for our medical/PA students, and also shows them the supportive nature of the Spokane Medical Community, allowing for a platform to engage all the schools involved in UGME and GME that exist in the community.”

“I certainly would not be where I am today without some incredible mentors who recognized and stoked the spark within me and who continue to support me to this day,” stated Winger. “As a medical student, I have found great joy in returning the favor by mentoring younger students in my local community who are interested in a healthcare career. With my art, I hoped to capture the special reciprocity of the mentor-mentee relationship and its power to transform lives. Thank you to the Spokane County Medical Society and Medical Education Committee for hosting a contest that encouraged reflection and creativity about a very important topic in medical education and healthcare. Another big thank you to the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine for prioritizing outreach to rural communities and letting me be a part of such a wonderful program.”

“Thank you so much for taking the time to provide us students with the opportunity to share our creative work,” stated Wendel. “It truly brightens our journey in medicine.”

All current Spokane-based medical/PA students were invited to submit an entry in one of three categories: an essay, an image (original art, photograph, or video), or a poem reflecting on how a Mentor-Mentee relationship has impacted them as a student. The winning entries were chosen by the Medical Education Committee contest panel and were blinded to the students’ names and programs. Two separate $500 prizes were awarded.

“The members of the contest panel were moved and impressed by the heartfelt words and images expressed by the students in all the submissions,” stated Dr. Chris Anderson, Co-chair of the MEC, “but selected the entries which most closely captured the essence of the goals of the contest.”

We’re pleased to present the selected entries here. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

 Stoking the Spark - Sue Winger, MS2, Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

My Teacher’s Mercy

By Basil Wendel, MS2, University of Washington School of Medicine

Well in my country

It ain’t no mystery

To stay away from

My teacher’s mercy

But in the hours of the mornin’

Some mother of none touched me

And said she ain’t lonely

Cause she was made in the backstreets

So gather ‘round this tree

Or keep playin’ in your sleep

With the risk of followin’

My teacher’s mercy

When I’m out gamblin’

In the alley by the factories

Though I play casually

I don’t win nothin’

But the words that’ve taught me

And messes that’ve wronged me

Like a tightrope dance sling

They could break or make me

So gather ‘round this tree

Or keep playin’ in your sleep

With the risk of followin’

My teacher’s mercy

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Media Contact : Shelly Bonforti

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