Medical students teach kids importance of doctor checkups - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Medical students teach kids importance of doctor checkups

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CARBONDALE -- Students from the SIU Physician Assistant program spent Wednesday teaching children the importance of going to the doctor.

Going to the doctor for the first time can get scary for young children. SIU Headstart teamed up with the university's Physician Assistant program to teach kids how much doctors help people. 

"Our doll clinic is just to prepare the little kids for what it's going to be like when they go to the doctor. Kind of helps to ease some fears. Today we're going to listen to their heart and lungs, shots, we're looking in their ears, and the kids are the parent," says Alexandra Spillman, a first-year Physician Assistant student.

The children weren't the only ones learning, though. The physician assistants in training learned how to get kids more comfortable during their check-ups.

"For the physician assistants, it gives them an opportunity to interact with young children and to recognize the value of play in the lives of young children," explains Physician Assistant Professor Molly Johnson.

Johnson says, having children learn what doctors do for them, makes the interaction easier for both. The medical students agree, events like this help take the fear out of going to the doctor.

"So events like this are really important because, one, we want to advocate for our profession as physician assistants, but we also want the children to know what it's like when they come to the doctor. We want them to not e so fearful, and we want them to know that we are their friends, and we're here to help them, and we don't want them to be scared at all," Spillman says.

After learning the doctor was not as scary as they thought, the kids and their stuffed animals were prescribed to playtime outside.

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