Press Releases

16 Semi-Finalists Chosen for David R. Cox Prize for Rare Compassion

August 26, 2015

The top sixteen semi-finalists  have been chosen for the David R. Cox Prize for Rare Compassion! After an exciting year where much interest from medical students across the United States and Canada was shared, we are proud to have received over 70 essay submissions.
This is our second year teaming up with Student Advocates for Neglected Diseases (STAND) to present the Cox Prize in recognition of the inspiring essays of student doctors who, like it’s namesake, Dr. Cox, identified with and understood the rare or neglected patient community.
In preparation for a submission for the David R. Cox Prize for Rare Compassion, students in their first or second year of medical school were required to forge a relationship with a patient, family, or advocate affected by a rare or neglected disease. The students then were to write about their experience based on this interaction.
Students were asked to share:

  • Reflections on the experience
  • The scope and significance of the disease’s effect on the patient, student, or society
  • Examples of personal or professional growth, as well as potential solutions that, for example:
    • Enhance awareness among physicians for rare diseases in general
    • Strengthen interest among medical students and the medical community for addressing rare and neglected disease research and development
    • Pose strategies for improving the patient-physician relationship pertaining to rare disease management
    • Help patients and families cope with all aspects of living with a rare condition

The selected submissions will be considered for publication online or in print, and winning authors will receive a certificate and cash prize.
First Place           $1,500
Second Place       $1,000
Third Place             $500
To view our top sixteen semi-finalists, click here.
Our top six finalists will be announced later this month. The top three winners will be announced at our RARE Tribute to Champions of Hope  Awards immediately following the RARE Patient Advocacy Summit.
About the Prize
David R. Cox, MD, PhD was an extraordinary physician scientist, becoming Professor of Genetics and Pediatrics at UCSF and later Stanford, as well as shepherding development of genomic medicine at Pfizer. In addition to his participation in the Human Genome Project and service on numerous national advisory boards, Dr. Cox showed uncommon compassion in his involvement with advocates for rare diseases. He was especially helpful to the A-T Children’s Project, an organization aiming to cure a rare and debilitating genetic disorder, ataxia telangiectasia (A-T). More here.
Student Advocates for Neglected Diseases (STAND) is a student organization inspiring future clinicians to care about disease communities often neglected by the healthcare system.  Engaging medical schools across the country, STAND connects students with neglected patient groups. STAND was started by Colton Margus, a medical student whose two brothers have a rare neurodegenerative disease.  For more information on STAND or to get involved, please visit or email [email protected].