Medicinal Musings

To complement the traditional scientific submissions, the CHRI Pediatric Research Forum will also featureA Gift for the Medical Student Medicinal Musings, a showcase of works of original poetry, prose (fiction/non-fiction), photography/graphic art, original art (drawing/watercolor), and musical compositions from physician and medical student writers and artists that highlight the art and humanistic aspect of medicine.

While the theme of the forum is centered around child health, related or general topics of physician wellness is also highly encouraged. We are committed to seeking diversity and celebrating the varied backgrounds and identities of authors to promote inclusivity and amplify all voices and unique experiences in medicine.

The categories for submission will be poetry, prose, photography/graphic art, original art, musical compositions. Recognition for outstanding art will be recognized with awards for the top submission in each category.

Pictured: A Gift for the Med Student, Rachel Nelson, Creighton University, Submitted 2020

Submission details                            

Submissions will be reviewed by a small panel of physicians to ensure appropriate content and confidentiality. If your work is submitted and accepted, it can be listed on your CV as a "poster" presentation. 

All pieces will be presented digitally. Once you have received notice that your submission has been accepted, no further action is needed, and your work will be uploaded to the CHRI Pediatric Research Forum virtual presentation platform where you can view your work and any commentary offered to you by other forum attendees starting May 13th.  Online interaction via commenting on other works is highly encouraged. All who submit to Medicinal Musings will be automatically registered for the event.

Questions or concerns, Contact Elizabeth Null, MD, Member of the IAE Health Humanities Special Interest Group or CHRI.

Judging Panel

PRF Judges

Music Composition

Flannery Cunningham is a composer and musicologist fascinated by text and vocal expression. She aims to write music that surprises and delights.  Her work, called “silken” by the Washington Post, has been performed by ensembles such as New York New Music Ensemble, TAK, International Contemporary Ensemble, Music from Copland House, and SPLICE. Flannery is attracted to the very old and very new; she works on 13th-century motets and chanson and often writes for players with live interactive electronics, always striving to foreground the musicality of human performers.  Originally from St. Cloud, Minnesota, she holds degrees from Princeton University, University College Cork, and Stony Brook University. 


Steve Langan is an author of four collections of poetry and poems in numerous journals. Langan teaches at the UNO’s Urban Health Opportunities Program and the UNMC High School Alliance Health Sciences Enrichment Program. He is the founder and director and Seven Doctors Project, which he formed at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2008. He serves as program development coordinator and poetry mentor at the UNO MFA in writing program.


Kevin Clouther is the author of We Were Flying to Chicago: Stories (Catapult). His stories have appeared in The Gettysburg ReviewThe Greensboro ReviewGulf CoastJ Journal, and The New Orleans Review among other journals, and he has contributed essays to The Millions, NPR, Poets & WritersSalon, and Tin House. He holds degrees from the University of Virginia and Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is the recipient of the Richard Yates Fiction Award and Gell Residency Award. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska Omaha Writer’s Workshop, where he is Program Coordinator of the MFA in Writing.

Jody Keisner's essays and stories have appeared in Fourth Genre, Cimarron Review, Post Road, Brevity, VIDA Review, So to Speak, Brain,Child, Assay, Threepenny Review, Hunger Mountain, The Rumpus, The Normal School, and many other literary journals and magazines. Her work as a guest co-editor of Isthmus (no. 6, Fall/Winter 2016, “Politics”) was recognized as a Notable Special Issue in The Best American Essays 2018. She also writes for AARP’s The Girlfriend. A graduate of Wayne State (BA), University of Nebraska-Omaha (MA) and Western Michigan University (MFA), she is an Associate Professor at UNO, where she teaches creative nonfiction.

Original Art

Nina Fredericks is from Nashville Tennessee, and she is currently a third-year OB/GYN resident in UT’s Nashville program. She graduated from Creighton University with a B.A. in studio art in 2014. While at Creighton, she completed a series of anatomical cubist nude layer drawings for which she received a research grant. She won Best Oral presentation at Creighton’s Honors Day in 2014 for her presentation of these works. She graduated from Creighton University school of medicine in 2018. She continues to enjoy painting, sketching, graphic design, and sculpting.


Rebecca Gratz is a multimedia specialist within the University of Nebraska Omaha’s Office of University Communications. With more than 15 years of experience in photojournalism, previously as a photojournalist for the Omaha World-Herald, she now captures what it means to be a Maverick in stunning quality. Her abilities allow her to photograph high quality images in a variety of challenging environmental conditions. She is always looking for the next storytelling opportunity. She holds a B.S in Communication and Journalism from Ball State University.