The 2011 winner was Joanne Sinai

About the Winner

This year’s SCRIPT Award winner, Dr. Joanne Sinai, produced her winning entry during a quiet hour, after a patient called to cancel his regular appointment. Joanne is a clinical psychiatrist in Victoria BC, where she divides her time between outpatient appointments and an urgent care centre for people in crisis. Born in South Africa, Joanne lived in Toronto from age six through the end of her medical residency, although a science program took her to Montreal for two years. It was at Toronto’s Earl Haig Secondary School where a great course with an inspiring teacher sparked her love of writing.

On the day her patient was a no-show, the title ‘The Predicament of Medicaments’ was already “knocking around” in her head. Joanne rarely tries her hand at poetry, but the free-verse piece came to her quickly. It’s a meditation on a doctor’s ambivalence about medical treatment of mental illness, which relieves the patient’s suffering, but at a cost.

Joanne’s work life gives her little chance to write, although she says she did more at an earlier stage of her career. Writing is a hobby now, she says. Still, Joanne maintains an avid interest in the relationship between psychoanalysis and literature, and she helps run an annual conference on psychiatry and the humanities.

Read 'The Predicament of Medicaments'

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