More than 100 children joined the ranks of Dr. Bear’s Medical School for Kids graduates on March 11. In order to earn the prestigious medical or nursing degree, children learned from experts how to care for the stuffed animal or doll they brought in, rotating through a number of medical stations.
The third annual Dr. Bear’s Medical School for Kids was sponsored and hosted by the Children’s Circle of Care, a group of leading benefactors who give at least $10,000 annually to the hospital, and the Grateful Family Program, which gives patient families ways to help others.
The day wouldn’t have been possible without the 30 hospital volunteers—including physicians, dentists, nurses, biomedical engineers, and medical transport team members—who served as “professors” for the day.
Also joining in the effort were Junior Council volunteers who helped run the stations.
“Seeing all the kids come in—former patients, current patients, and friends of the hospital—was fantastic,” says Junior Council member Peter Benzinger. “Teaching them tips to stay healthy and having them put a cast on and take care of the toy they brought in made them feel like real doctors!”
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Kids were able to visit 17 medical stations representing 12 hospital departments, even operating the Pedbot, which showcases how Children’s National is using robotics and gaming to improve mobility for children with cerebral palsy. The Casting Station proved to be the most popular stop, as evidenced by a long line of kids waiting to cast their stuffed animals’ “broken” limbs.
Seacrest Studio was on the air, giving final exams and graduating future doctors and nurses with all the required pomp and circumstance.
“Dr. Bear’s Medical School for Kids is such a unique opportunity for family to have fun and learn about our wonderful Hospital,” says Children’s National Board Chair Mike Williams. “I could not think of a better way to share in the experience than to take my grandson, Jack, who had a great time learning about the hospital and our fantastic doctors, nurses and staff.
“I have to say the tours of the Ambulance, the Helicopter, and the Ryan Seacrest Studio were the ‘icing on the cake’. Dr. Bear’s Medical School for Kids also showcased what wonderful volunteers we have on our staff, in the foundation, and in the Junior Council who gave their time to make this such a special day. “
Learn more about the Children’s National Circles of Leadership program, which includes Children’s Circle of Care. If your family has benefitted from Children’s National, and you’re looking for a way to help others under our care, please visit the Grateful Family page.