Young Docs on deck | Manhattan Times

Story and photos by Gregg McQueen

Young Docs - BALSO - Washington Heights

The Young Docs interact with first grade students .

For young children, the sight of a doctor’s white coat can be enough to make them shiver.The association with pediatricians often involve being poked and prodded, or worse yet, getting a needle.Medical students from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) are aiming to reduce such anxiety while also educating kids about what it’s like to be a doctor.

Through a program titled Young Docs, members of CUMC’s Black and Latino Student Organization (BALSO) visit local classrooms throughout Washington Heights, Inwood and Harlem to expose school-age children to the medical field and encourage them to become leaders within their communities.

Another goal is to minimize the natural fear that children have of medical professionals, explained Shaliesha Hinds, a BALSO co-coordinator.

“At that point in their lives, all kids know about doctors is that they give shots,” said Hinds. “We teach them about what doctors really do and how they help the community.”

Read more: Young Docs on deck | Manhattan Times

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