Shahrzad is the president of the Teddy Bear Hospital Society.
The Teddy Bear Hospital Society aims to promote health and hygiene in local primary schools.
As president, Shahrzad organises school clinics and makes sure that everything runs smoothly. Not only does she feel that the society has given her a chance to apply the knowledge she has gained through her degree but she has also enjoyed working with children.
Teddy Bear Hospital is a society that’s actually an international project. We have one here at Barts but there are many other branches in other Medical and Dental schools. What we do is we go to local primary schools mainly and we work with children in years 1 and 2 and sometimes reception as well – we just teach them about health promotion, the importance of having a balanced diet, eating fruit, brushing their teeth and that it’s not scary to go to the doctor or the dentist.
This year I’m the President but I’ve been involved for the last 3 years now, and I’ve been doing various things. As President I think really the main role is to just organise the clinics that we have and make sure everything’s running smoothly, if there are any problems, sorting them out.
Top three attributes developed through an extracurricular activity:
Transferable key skills to help me with my career goals and continuing education:
Working with children for any reason is always very rewarding, they’re always fun to work with. They come up with questions that nobody else thinks of when you’re kind of talking to them about different things, and it’s good again for our future careers. As medics, no matter what field you go into, whether it’s general practice, surgery, medicine, you’ll always be in contact with children at some point or another and communicating with them is very different to communicating with adults.
Apply different forms of communication in various social, professional and cultural settings:
I’m definitely able to communicate better, particular with children but also with adults, because organising the clinics means talking to teachers, head teachers, and various schools. Also to secure donations you need to obviously contact various organisations and so in that way, we as the committee members, end up talking to a variety of different people and learning how to do that.
Acquire and apply knowledge in a rigorous way:
It’s definitely allowed me to use the knowledge that we’ve gained over the years in public health and health promotion in our course and apply it actually in terms of teaching children about the importance of health issues and actually making a difference. We do go to these schools repeatedly and when we talk to the teachers they say the children do remember us and they to talk about it afterwards and they do learn that, for example, you need to brush your teeth twice a day or that you need to eat healthily and you do make a difference in that way. You can put into practice the things we learn on our course which is always very useful for us. And again it gives us transferrable skills that we can use for our future.