Introduction Dr. Me aims to improve patient awareness of selfcare and when to access NHS services, as well as to increase interest into the medical profession among children.
Background With increasing demands on the NHS, Dr. Me encourages children to engage with self-care in the community and to promote responsible use of healthcare resources. The project also aims to generate interest in medicine in areas with traditionally low rates of application into medical school.
Method One hour lessons were delivered to Year 5 classes (n=89) by junior doctors working in a range of specialities. Each session incorporated short workshops on vomiting, sore throat and minor injuries. 3 audit scenarios were asked before and after teaching, and the children decided whether to stay home, visit the GP or attend A and E. Correct responses before and after were compared. A feedback questionnaire gauged enjoyment, confidence in self-care and interest in the role of doctors.
Results Correct responses after teaching improved by an average 18.7%. The vomiting scenario improved from 53% to 71%, sore throat from 58% to 76% and injuries from 72% to 92%. Feedback showed 100% of children enjoyed the sessions, 93% felt more confident in self-care and 93% were more interested in the role of doctors.
Conclusion Initial results suggest scope to teach children self-care and appropriate use of services. All children reported enjoying the sessions and feedback showed an increased interest in the role of doctors. Further sessions are planned to refine teaching and gather more data, with plans to recruit and train more volunteers, including medical students, to expand the project further. We also aim to incorporate Dr. Me into medical school curricula as an optional module.
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