“Voices from the Wards” is a collection of 55-word stories written by medical students and published annually by the Gold Humanism Honor Society senior class at the University of Utah School of Medicine. These stories transcend specific writing genres, employing aspects of both poetry and prose to craft brief, poignant vignettes of experiences as physicians-in-training. The purpose of the collection is to transmit emotional knowledge between classes of medical students. Thus, the booklets are specifically designed to fit in white coat or scrub pockets, to serve as a reference when emotionally strained, or as a touchstone for recalling our own initial forays into the clinical world of medicine.
Submissions are limited to about 55 words in the form of personal narratives or stories, poetry, or a hybrid genre of creative nonfiction. They must relate actual experiences of the author; fictional accounts will not be accepted. The use of creative techniques used in writing fiction–character description, setting, scene, dialogue, and conflict, for instance–is highly recommended.
Submissions of visual art also will be accepted for consideration as cover art.
Subject matter should address aspects of medical practice, education, and training, including but not limited to: ethical dilemmas, mistakes, challenging emotional situations, tensions between personal and professional spheres, and patient encounters, especially those that are memorable for being inspirational as well as troubling.
The stories in Voices from Residents should be written creatively in a voice that is personal, not didactic or pedantic. The writing should “hint” or “show,” rather than tell readers what are the submission’s “teaching points.”
Annual print edition: submission deadline January 31, 2021.
For Cover Art Submissions
Please email one of the editors directly: