2011 Summer Newsletter
Bander Essay Winner Awarded $5000 Prize
Thomas Heyne, M.St., a fourth-year medical student at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, was selected as the winner of the Bander Essay Contest in Medical Business Ethics. The contest was established in 2010 in collaboration with the American Medical Association's (AMA) online journal Virtual Mentor. His winning essay was entitled, "Ethics and Retail Clinics."
Heyne completed a B.A. in history and a B.S. in biology at the University of Dallas. He went on to receive an M.St. in Theology from the University of Oxford , where he focused on ancient Christian history and especially early Christian attitudes towards medicine, and completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Spain, where he focused on medieval Spanish attitudes towards medicine.
Heyne's essay entitled, "Ethics and Retail Clinics," was written in response to a clinical scenario presented by the editors of Virtual Mentor. The scenario illustrated the ethical dilemmas created for family practice physicians when their patients are lost to regular follow-up because they use retail clinics for regular health issues and only come to their primary care physician when their health problems become complicated. Essay contestants were asked to propose policies or practices for physicians who grapple with clinical dilemmas. Essays were judged on the understanding of the topic, applicability of the proposed policy to medical practice and patient care, clarity of writing and argumentation, and integration of relevant scholarly literature and data.
Heyne's essay used two tenets from the Declaration of Geneva of 1948 and Sir William Osler to provide guidance to physicians in such dilemmas: (1) what is best for the physical health of the patient is of utmost importance, and (2) health is influenced by many factors beyond organic disease processes. Using these tenets as a foundation, Heyne created an essay that used the literature well and offered practical advice for physicians in such situations. Heyne received $5,000 for his winning essay, which will be published in the September issue of Virtual Mentor.
The Bander Essay Contest is supported in part by the Saint Louis University Bander Center for Medical Business Ethics and Virtual Mentor, the AMA's online ethics journal. All medical students, residents, fellows and physicians in practice are eligible to submit essays for consideration. The contest is meant to encourage scholarly inquiry into issues in business ethics within the practice of medicine or in medical research. For more information about the latest Bander Essay contest, visit the Virtual Mentor website.