01/02/2005

Child's play as Queen's medical students return to school

An innovative child health programme, which enables trainee doctors from Queen's University to teach basic healthcare to primary school children, has been launched today.

The 'Medics in Primary School' initiative involves a series of visits by undergraduate medical students to primary schools across the greater Belfast area in a bid to help develop a closer relationship between the medical profession and the local community.

During the school visits, the students will guide the children through about a variety of health education topics, including diet, nutrition and the skin, whilst hopefully providing positive role models encouraging primary pupils to consider a medical career.

Professor Gerry McCormac, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Community and Communications at Queen’s, said: “This unique programme, carried out in partnership with First Trust, is a special study module offered to second year medical students at Queen’s and is one of the best examples of how Queen’s reaches out into the local community in which is it is rooted.

“It not only gives our medical students the chance to improve their communication skills while working with children from a variety of backgrounds, but it also brings alive real issues about personal health to young children, who will meet the doctors of the future and be encouraged about a career in medicine or any of the related health sciences," he said.

The initiative currently involves 34 students working with 35 schools in the greater Belfast area.

Participating schools include: Ballyhenry Primary; Lowwood Primary; Carmoney Primary; St Vincent de Paul Primary; Fullerton House Preparatory; St Joseph's School, Carryduff; Wheatfield Primary; St Peter's Primary; Cregagh Primary; St Bernard's Primary; Mallusk Primary; St Malachy's Primary; Rosetta Primary; St Michael's Primary; St Bride's Primary; Botantic Primary; Stranmillis Primary; Holy Rosary Primary; St Teresa's; St Mark's; Fane Street; Hilden Integrated Primary; Ligoniel Primary; Blythfield Primary; Cranmore Integrated; Finaghy Primary; Donegall Road Primary; St John the Baptist Boys Primary; Mercy Primary; St Joseph's Primary; Star to the Sea Primary; St Mary's Primary; St Anne's Primary; Our Lady of Lourdes Primary.

(MB/SP)

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