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2024 Building Trust Essay Contest – Accepting Submissions

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Jaime McClennen


The Building Trust Essay Contest asks students across all health professions, including nursing, medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, and others, to engage in a reflective writing exercise about their experiences with trust. This year, students are asked to tell a story that illustrates an experience engaging in meaningful dialogue with someone whose views are different from their own, in pursuit of enhancing patient care.

Examples of such experiences can include, but are not limited to:

  • Learning about a patient’s cultural nuances in order to tailor their care.
  • Navigating a difference in political views with a leader or family member (particularly in the context of their work in medicine).
  • Advocating for systems changes to support access to care.
  • Leveraging social media to learn and engage constructively with those who hold views that are different from your own.

Submission Requirements

The Building Trust Essay Contest is open to students of health professions in the United States. Submissions must be an original essay of 750 words or less. Essays must be written in English and only one submission per student will be accepted.

Selection Criteria

An independent panel of judges will review and select up to four winning essays. Up to 10 honorable mentions may also be awarded. Essays will be judged on the following equally weighted criteria:

  • Content and connection to the topic of trust
  • Quality of writing and clarity of thought
  • Novelty of the message
  • Opportunity for others to learn

The Prize

Up to four winners will each receive an invitation to the ABIM Foundation’s annual Forum (July 27-30, 2024, in Stevenson, WA), which includes:

  • Travel to and from Stevenson, WA
  • Three (3) nights lodging
  • A stipend for meals and incidentals


Winning essays will be published on the ABIM Foundation’s website,, shared on social media, and in newsletter(s).

Winning essayists will also receive support in submitting their essays to one or more prestigious national medical publications.

The submission period closed on March 22, 2024.