2016 Press Releases

Teddy bear hospital reopens in UCC

12 Apr 2016
Medical Student Alex Brickley with ‘Ted Ted’ and Zoe McCarthy with ‘Lilly’ from St John the Baptist National School, Midleton. Image: Ger McCarty

Students from UCC's School of Medicine have reopened the College of Medicine and Health’s teddy bear hospital to diagnose and treat teddy bear patients with commonly used medical instruments and procedures.

The hospital opens annually as a community outreach activity and aims to reduce the fear that many children have when they visit the doctor.

The hospital- which operates over two days in partnership with five primary schools- will see primary school children work with medical students’ to diagnose and treat their teddy bear patients.  The procedures used within the hospital are based on what children typically experience during a visit to their family doctor. The creation of this friendly and entertaining clinical environment allows children to have a better idea of what to expect on their next visit to their GP or hospital.

Alexandra Brickley, Educational Officer of UCC’s MedSoc states that “During my time in hospitals and GP clinics, I often see children who are afraid of coming to see the doctor because they don't know what to expect. The aim of the Teddy Bear Hospital is to introduce children to doctors and healthcare in a friendly environment so that they will be more at ease when visiting the doctor in the future. This positive exposure to healthcare helps to build a strong doctor-patient relationship and gives all of the children involved a fun morning out. It is a real privilege to be able to provide this service for the community and is one of the main reasons I wanted to be involved in the educational aspect of MedSoc. It is a very fun morning out for the school children and medical students alike.”

Professor Mary Horgan, Dean of the School of Medicine, University College Cork, states that the importance of engaging with the community outside of the medical schools traditional presence cannot be understated: “The significance of community outreach, as seen through the Teddy Bear Hospital in spreading the message about public health is critically important as it allows UCC to function as an academic healthcare provider in a non-traditional setting. The messages that these primary school children will take from the clinic, creates an affirmative and substantial link between the College of Medicine and Health, its students’ and healthcare system.”

This year’s Teddy Bear Hospital featured pupils from Scoil Mhuire Banrion, Mayfield, St John the Baptist NS Midleton, Midleton Educate Together NS, St Finbarrs NS, Cork City and St Catherines NS, Bishopstown Ave, Model Farm Rd.

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF