Hektoen International announces winner of student essay contest

Chicago, Illinois 
April 18, 2023           

The Hektoen International medical humanities journal announces that Shannon Adams-Hartung, MD, has been awarded the grand prize in its inaugural Hektoen International Medical Student Essay Contest, which was launched in November 2022. Dr. Adams-Hartung is a second-year pediatric resident at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Her essay entitled “Soul power” delves into the deep and complex historical, cultural, and economic roots of “soul food” in the African American community. Her essay was selected from a pool of nearly 200 entries, receiving a $3,500 honorarium as the grand prize winner.

Although Hektoen International has conducted essay contests in the past, this was the first exclusively for students currently enrolled in or accepted into medical school, serving as a medical intern or resident, or working as an attending physician pursuing a medical specialty. Hektoen International’s editorial staff launched the contest to reach a new generation of readers and writers and hope to include this niche competition as part of a rotation of annual essay contests.

Dr. Adams-Hartung majored in global health and history as an undergraduate student at Duke University and has a clinical and research interest in bioethics. She plans to pursue a career in neonatology and palliative care. “I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity,” Dr. Adams-Hartung told our editorial team. “This essay is about the intersection of health, nutrition, culture, and history, and I’m so glad I’ve been given a platform to share this story with the Hektoen community.”

Hektoen International also congratulates the runner-up in the contest, Vidhi Naik, on her submission “From silks to science: The history of hematoxylin and eosin staining“. This fascinating article explores the history of two dyes used in histology and has been awarded a $2,500 prize. Naik is a MBChB student at the University of Aberdeen in the northeast of Scotland. Her interests lie in pathology, women’s health, and ophthalmology.

Hektoen International, an educational offering by the Hektoen Institute of Medicine, debuted in 2008 and features more than 3,000 articles submitted by U.S. and international authors on medical humanities topics. Promoted as an interface of medicine, culture, and education, Hektoen International has a vast reach of more than 40,000 subscribers and averages more than one million visitors a year.