2022 FPM-Hippocrates Prize Health Professional Commendations


Ingrid Andersson   Madison, Wisconsin, United States

What it's like being married to an obstetrician
Carole Bromley   York, England

You drew breath
Carole Bromley   York, England

Your current difficulties
Carole Bromley   York, England

Ice Fish
Tina Carlson   Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States

Dissection Room
Nicola Carter   Liverpool, England

Kafka's uncle
Neil Douglas   London, England

Neuro-developmental clinic
Neil Douglas   London, England 

Neil Douglas   London, England

Room with a view
Simon Freeman   London, England

The Smile
Joseph Gascho   Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, United States

The pathology lecture 
Margaret Gourlay   East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, United States

The Day After
Ng Yu Ci   Singapore

Love alone
Melanie Jansen   Woolloongabba, Queensland, Australia

Ode To A Lover's Fibrillating Heart
David Lanier   Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

And Breathe
Elizabeth Mitchell   Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, United States

Cardinal Signs of Healing
Daniela Rojas   Providence, Rhode Island, United States

The Majesty of Mania
Willa Schneberg   Portland, Oregon, United States

Voice Box
Wendy-Jane Walton   Pontesbury, England

Emergency Department Blues
Eika Webb   Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

Judith Wozniak   Fareham, England

After calling time of death
Ellen Zhang   Troy, Michigan, United States

Biographies and inspiration for the poems

Ingrid Andersson porch

Ingrid Andersson is a home birth nurse midwife of 22 years who lives in Madison, WI, USA. Her debut collection, Jordemoder: Poems of a Midwife, was released in April 2022 from Holy Cow! Press. Her poetry has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, won an Editor's Choice Award and has appeared in Ars Medica, Eastern Iowa Review, Intima: A journal of narrative medicine, Literary Mama, Midwest Review, Mom Egg Review, Plant-Human Quarterly, Torrey House Press, Wisconsin People & Ideas and more. 

She said that her commended poem, Release, is from her new collection, The Divide. The poem plumbs her own abortions, yet is more than personal. It explores varied experiences and meanings of abortion, as well as of life, and was sparked by the question: when does life begin?

Carol Bromley MJO22944 hi

Carole Bromley lives in York where she is the Poetry Society’s Stanza rep and runs poetry surgeries. She has been shortlisted and commended in the Hippocrates Prize in previous years and is delighted to be on the shortlist again. Carole has won a number of prizes including the Bridport and the Hamish Canham Award. She writes for children as well as adults. Her most recent publications are The Peregrine Falcons of York Minster (Valley Press, 2020) and a pamphlet about pituitary surgery, Sodium 136 (Calder Valley Poetry 2019)

About her commended poems Carole said:

"Your current difficulties is about an episode of suicidal depression many years ago. I decided to write it as mental health issues need to be discussed openly.
What it’s like being Married to an Obstetrician 
is based on real memories from the early days of my husband’s medical career when he was doing house jobs in obstetrics and gynaecology. We were newly weds and I found the experiences of his patients moving.
You Drew Breath came out of the same poetry course with Jonathan Edwards as my shortlisted poem. It is based on Greta Stottard’s fine poem with the same title which is about a baby’s first breaths. My poem is about my father’s last breaths.”


Tina Carlson is a psychiatric nurse practitioner, and has published two previous collections of poems:  Ground, Wind, This Body (UNM Press, 2017) and, in collaboration with Stella Reed and Katherine DiBella Seluja, We Are Meant To Carry Water (3: A Taos Press,  winner of the 2020 NM/AZ Book Prize for Poetry Anthology.) Her third collection, A Guide To Tongue Tie Surgery is forthcoming in spring 2023 from UNM Press. Her poems have been published in a variety of journals and anthologies, including SWWIM, Hunger Mountain, Psaltery and Lyre, Mom Egg Review, bosque, the magazine, Laurel Review and others. She won second place in Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts 2020 Joy Harjo Poetry Contest.

She said: "I work in perinatal mental health and Ice Fish was inspired by a woman who whose fetus died at 26 weeks gestation after his kidneys failed to develop in utero.:

Neil Douglas

Neil Douglas worked as a GP and Community Paediatrician in London’s East End. His poetry has appeared in Hippocrates 2018, The North, AMBIT, Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2022 and the NHS Anthology ‘These are the Hands.’ He writes with the Covent Garden Stanza collective and is currently studying for an MA in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London.

He said: "Franz Kafka’s short story ‘A Country Doctor’ and GP home visits on the Isle of Dogs provided the inspiration for Rosie and Kafka’s uncle. Neuro-developmental clinic comes from my experience of working as a Community Paediatrician in East London and is written as a duplex – a form innovated by American poet Jericho Brown.”

Simon Freeman is a retired GP based in the UK.

He said: "My poem, ‘Room with a view’, tries to capture the experience of the doctor turned patient, and the loss of equilibrium that occurs with a diagnosis of cancer and its treatment with chemotherapy. I felt that a Sestina lent itself to the repetitive nature of hospital attendance, treatment sessions, and the rumination that can accompany illness."


Margaret Gourlay is a family physician who practiced medicine 1998-2013. She also trained in epidemiology and conducted NIH-funded bone and mineral research 2004-2017. Her research team’s analysis of bone density screening intervals for older women was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2012. She currently serves as a Principal Medical Writer at Boston Scientific Corporation in Massachusetts. 

She said: “The pathology lecture” describes the brilliant and charismatic Dr. Alexander C. Templeton, who taught my class at Rush Medical College in Chicago, Illinois (US) 1995-1996. His vivid descriptions in lectures and a textbook he authored were unforgettable. The poem was written for a "Narrative and Medicine" mini-course and was given to Dr. Templeton but not published.

Melanie Jansen HP 2022

Dr Melanie Jansen is a Paediatric Intensive Care Specialist at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, in Sydney, Australia. She has written poems for as long as she can remember. Throughout her medical career, Melanie has continued to write poetry and vignettes reflecting on her work and the themes of grief, love, crisis, and even joy, that permeate this. In 2021, Melanie completed a mentorship through the Australian Writers Mentoring Program with Mark Tredinnick. She has written a collection of poems that explore and reflect on the above themes, telling the stories of families with critically ill children. The parallel story of the human interaction with healthcare workers, and the effect the work has on them, is quietly woven through. Love Alone is one of the poems written for this collection.

She said: "Love Alone tells a story of complex grief. Despite deploying all that medicine has to offer, this child cannot be fixed. Grief does not move in linear stages. It moves in unpredictable ways, textured by sorrow, rage, fear, desperation. Love is ever present. Acceptance can be elusive. The tragedy ripples through us all."

David Lanier IMG 0127

David Lanier is a family physician who also holds an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College.   Recently retired from medical practice, he was on the faculty of the Georgetown University School of Medicine and later worked in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  He currently lives in Chapel Hill, N.C., and is the author of the poetry collection Lost & Found, winner of the Robert Phillips Prize from the Texas Review Press.

He said: "Ode To A Lover's Fibrillating Heart grew out of the difficulty I experienced trying to explain to someone I love the significance and health implications of a recent diagnosis of atrial fibrillation non-responsive to medical treatment.  Trying to be both as honest and as comforting as possible, I had trouble putting into words what it means for someone's heart to be "broken" rhythmically.  In the end, I found it easier to do this by directly addressing my lover's heart, recognizing the central role it plays in our circulatory systems (medically) as well as in our romantic lives (metaphorically).

fayeng Writerphoto NPF2022

Faye Ng Yu Ci is an undergraduate student journeying through her medical degree. Her poetry has been published by various literary journals and anthologies, including Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, QLRS, and Lammergeier, among others. She previously won the Top Award in the National Poetry Competition Singapore, as well as the Prize in Poetry by the Annals of Internal Medicine. Occasionally, she writes articles on medically-themed topics.

The Day After is inspired by her experiences working with palliative care patients and their families. It is a rumination on what happens after all medical treatment has been exhausted, and a meditation on the lessons that can be gleaned from our observations of mother nature. What occurs in the natural world often serves as a poignant reflection of our daily lives, depicting the loves and losses we work through, as well as the hope and uncertainty we grapple with.


Daniela Rojas said: "I am a Mexican-American, first generation, medical student, originally from the border town of Mission, Texas, but currently residing in Providence, Rhode Island, completing my final year of training at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. I am interested in psychiatry and internal medicine and aspire to practice geriatrics in the near future. My lived experiences have shined a light through the darkest parts of my professional training, making it easier to move forward. I am forever indebted to my family—my first school, my first love."

About the Inspiration for her poem she added: "Cardinal Signs of Healing was written with gratitude for my dear aunt’s life and for everything I learned from her. When she was young and I was a child, she encouraged me to be curious and kind. As she grew older, she led by example, demonstrating forgiveness and resilience. During her last months of life with metastatic pancreatic cancer, she held my hand through anticipatory grief. She taught me medicine in ways no professor could. She also taught me to let go and to continue loving from a distance."


Willa Schneberg is a poet, essayist, visual artist, curator and psychotherapist in private practice in Portland, Oregon,USA. She has authored five poetry collections including: Box Poems (Alice James Books); In The Margins of The World, recipient of the Oregon Book Award; Storytelling in Cambodia, (Calyx Books), and Rending the Garment, (Box Turtle Press). Her collection of mental health poems entitled "The Naked Room" is forthcoming from Broadstone Books.“The Majesty of Mania” will be included in that collection. Willa has been a fellow at Yaddo and MacDowell. Work has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals, including: American Poetry ReviewSalmagundiPoet LoreBellevue Literary Review and The Journal of Psychohistory.

She said: "I was inspired to write this poem after learning about Clifford Whittingham Beers and reading his autobiography, A Mind That Found Itself.  Beers was bi-polar and institutionalized in private and public mental hospitals from 1900—1903. He became an activist and went on to revolutionize the care and treatment of the mentally ill.

Wendy-Jane Walton HP Hippo 2022

Wendy-Jane Walton is a retired GP, living in Shropshire. Always a lover of poetry, she finds retirement has created welcome space for writing. She has had poems published in various anthologies, including These are the Hands, Fairacre Press, published during the pandemic and supporting NHS Charities.

She said that her poem ‘Voice Box’ was written during a workshop at the Poetry Pharmacy in Bishops Castle, with a theme of ‘boxes’. "The source of inspiration was a very close friend, undergoing aggressive cancer treatment, who thankfully is currently in remission. It is a delight when a poem grows out of something completely unexpected, and this one took its form very easily.”

Eika Webb

Eika Webb is a junior doctor who is returning to work in the NHS after a stint working in the Northern Territory in Australia. This is the first time she has submitted her work to a poetry competition and as a result she was very pleasantly surprised to receive a commendation. 

She said:"My poem Emergency Department Blues was written on my phone after what felt like a particularly long run of night shifts. It was borne out of that combination of exhaustion and relief of reaching the end of being nocturnal and then finally being able to reflect on the events of the past few nights. I have found working mostly in the Emergency Department for the past two years that finding humour even in the smallest of instances helps to combat the frustrations of working in a stressful environment.

Judith Wozniak 2022

Judith Wozniak spent her working life as a GP. Her poems have appeared in Fenland Poetry Journal, The Alchemy Spoon, ARTEMISpoetry, London Grip, The Frogmore Papers and These are the Hands NHS Anthology. She won first prize in the Hippocrates Poetry Competition, 2020. Her pamphlet, Patient Watching, was published by The Hedgehog Press in 2022.

She said: "Changeling is inspired by my experiences as a GP and attempts to capture the terror of post-partum psychosis."

Zhang Ellen

Ellen Zhang is a student at Harvard Medical School who has studied under Pulitzer Prize winner Jorie Graham and poet Josh Bell. She currently serves as Editor-In-Chief of the Harvard Medical Student Review. Ellen's works appear in JAMA, Boxcar Poetry Review, The Quotable, several anthologies, and elsewhere. She has received recognition from the US Presidental's Committee on the Arts and the Williams Carlos Williams Poetry Competition.

She said: "My poem, After calling time of death is inspired by the realities in which caring for COVID19 patients collided with caring for loved ones at home. I aimed to distill very human moments of love and resilience shown by healthcare workers, especially when the distance between home and hospital diminishes.”"

onion © Hippocrates initiative 2012: hippocrates.poetry@gmail.com