Department of Surgery

DeBakey Poetry Contest


2023 Awards Recipients

  • First place: “Sanskrit for Beautiful,” by Palak Patel
  • Second place: “All My Heart,” by Michael Sun
  • Third place: “Order Up!,” by Nolan Winicki

Honorable Mention

  • “This House is Nothing Without You,” by Fae Kayarian
  • “Didactics,” by Parisa Thepmank
View Past Recipients

Entry Rules and Guidelines


Entrant must be a medical student currently pursuing a medical doctor (M.D.) degree in an accredited United States medical school.

Please submit one poem only. It must be original and in English (no translations from other languages) and should cover a medical topic in no more than 50 lines.

Your submission cannot have been previously published (in print or online, including social media, blogs, and videos) and/or sold to the public or transferred to another entity for sale to the public. Your submission cannot be under consideration for publication, and cannot have been awarded recognition, in another journal or writing contest. Additionally, posting or publication of your entry in any form (in print or online including social media and blogs and videos) prior to the announcement of the contest winners will result in immediate disqualification.

The deadline has been extended with updates on program dates to follow.

The first-prize poem will become the property of the Michael E. DeBakey Medical Student Poetry Awards program and will be submitted to a major medical periodical for consideration for publication. If the piece is accepted for publication, the requested rights will be per the publishing journal’s policies.

Recognition and cash awards of the following amounts will be awarded to the three poems receiving the highest scores from the panel of judges:

  • $1,000 for first prize
  • $500 for second prize
  • $250 for third prize

View all DeBakey Poetry Contest Winners.