Jennifer Winbigler, MD, Internal Medicine Resident, won first place in the Tennessee Chapter of the American College of Physicians 2015 Narrative Medicine Contest in the Resident/Practicing Physician Category.
Dr. Winbigler wrote her essay, "Doctor Daughter," in the final stages of her father's fatal disease from squamous cell carcinoma to chronicle her thoughts as both a physician and a daughter. She describes, from a physician's point of view, the medical details of her father's case. As a daughter, she describes a man who was CEO of an electric company, an SEC football official, and "the BEST dad a girl could ask for."
Dr. Winbigler said, "I wrote that the day he went home on hospice, and a week later I was on my way to his funeral. At least he didn't have to suffer for very long.
"It was so painful to watch my dad go through this when I help and heal people on a daily basis, but I couldn't do anything for him. It is an honor to be his daughter and a physician, so I'm glad I could write about both. "
Her father, Jim Allison, was first diagnosed with head and neck cancer in 2013, and he passed away September 8, 2015. On September 12, Dr. Winbigler and SEC football officials across the country wore black wristbands in memory of her father. Read "Paying Tribute to a VFL" on VolsConnect.
Dr. Winbigler completed several of her medical school rotations in Knoxville and was one of the first residents to celebrate Match Day at Neyland Stadium by running to the 50-yard-line. Her dad, who came to cheer her on, wrote a poem about Match Day to all of the graduating medical students.
"Doctor Daughter" will be published in a future issue of the Tennessee Medicine Journal.
Brittany Vasquez, fourth-year UT College of Medicine student, was also recognized in the Narrative Medicine Contest. She earned an honorable mention in poetry for her poem, "44 Years and 9 Days."
Posted October 27, 2015
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