By Kathleen O’Sullivan
The annual UL GEMS Teddy Bear Hospital was held on 8th March.
The event was a huge success, seeing more children attend this year’s event than ever before.
It was organised by medical students in the Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) in UL as part of the international project in association with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations.
This event provides primary school students with the opportunity to interact with student doctors in a safe and fun environment while learning about medicine.
The aim of the event is to help alleviate childhood anxiety surrounding hospitals and doctors.
Current GEMS student Kristen Delcellier is co-director of the event.
“We worked very hard this year at being able to accommodate more schools from the community as well as accommodate as many kids as wanted to come for the community session,” Ms Delcellier said.
“We received over 600 children as well as their teddy bears from 10 primary schools across Limerick, as well as children from the community in the afternoon,” she said.
One hundred and fifty student volunteers and tutors from the medical school took part, which saw themselves acting as ‘teddy bear doctors’ for the event.
They taught the children about medicine through a series of practical activities.
“The children got to rotate through 10 different stations, each showcasing a different aspect of medicine through scenarios, games, and learning,” Ms Delcellier explained.
To further highlight the success of the event, Paul O’Connell praised the Teddy Bear Hospital on social media after attending a community session with his own children.
“The event couldn’t have been such a success without all of those who took part and the support that was received from their sponsors.
“Myself, along with the organizing committee of the UL Teddy Bear Hospital really had an amazing time this year.
“We couldn’t put on such a massive project without generous support from our local sponsors Dunnes (Childres Rd), Silkes (Limerick City), Flynn Surgical (Limerick), Fleming Medical (Limerick), Happy Threads (Dublin), and UL Sport arena,” Ms Delcellier stated.