For more information contact: Boonshoft School of Medicine, Judi Engle, Office of Public Relations, (937) 775-2951

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 15, 2004

Erin Elizabeth McConnell Receives First-Place Honors

Dayton, Ohio--Erin Elizabeth McConnell, a third-year medical student at Wright State University, was presented with the First Place Award for her poem "Atopy*" in the annual Creative Arts Contest, sponsored by the American Medical Student Association and published in the July-August 2004 issue of The New Physician.

Since 1995, The New Physician has been providing future physicians with an outlet for their creative expressions, and Erin has received honorable mentions the past two years with her works, "Peas" (2002) and "Neonates" (2003).

McConnell is a 1997 graduate of Springfield North High School, and holds a B.S. in chemistry and English from Butler University, Indiana. After graduation, she was awarded a full fellowship to complete a year of graduate school studying creative writing at Iowa State University prior to beginning medical school at Wright State.

Erin is the daughter of William and Portia McConnell from Springfield, Ohio. She is the youngest in a set of identical twins, from a family with two sets of twins, one fraternal and the other identical. At the age of 17, Erin was diagnosed with lupus, after enduring months of tests, physical discomfort, and waiting. As a result, she set her sights on pediatrics and working with children. She states, "I can't imagine a more fun patient population!" Because of her experiences

with doctors, McConnell says, "I hope that I never forget how much everything about my doctors-their tone of voice, mannerisms, and approachability-affected me as a patient."

To read her award winning poem visit, http://www.amsa.org/tnp/arts/04poetry.cfm

*Atopy is the term used for a clinical hypersensitivity state with a hereditary predisposition. (hereditary tendency to experience allergic reactions)