For Healthcare Professionals


The Teddy Bear Hospital is a chartered student group with the Emory University Medical School Senate. Our adviser is Dr. Donald Batisky, practicing nephrologist with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.  Each TBH event is planned and organized by student coordinators from the School of Medicine.


Health professional students attend training sessions with Child Life Professionals from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and TBH student coordinators in order to practice their kid-friendly TBH skills prior to the event.  Our volunteers are currently-enrolled students in Emory's MD, MD/PhD, Nursing, Physician's Assistant and Doctor of Physical Therapy training programs.


We invite pediatric clinicians to get involved with Teddy Bear Hospital during our visits to ATL kindergarten classrooms.  This unique program affords medical students and clinicians an opportunity to work with our pediatric patients in their own neighborhoods, on their own terms, and outside of traditional clinical environments.  


We have worked with PGY1+ residents from the Emory departments of Family Medicine, Pediatrics and the Physicians' Assistant program. At each TBH school event, we welcome these skilled healthcare practitioners to serve as "Teddy Bear Attending Physician."  In this role, residents serve as a professional and mentoring resource for our medical students as they take a medical history and perform a focused clinical exam of the teddy bear patient. By involving the children in the medical checkup, we aspire to de-stigmatize healthcare visits, and re-imagine a trip to the pediatrician as an activity that maintains and promotes a sense of wellness.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the sessions, medical students will be able to:
  1. Communicate effectively with a kindergarten student, using age-appropriate diction, interpersonal skills and body language.
  2. Assess the developmental status of a kindergarten student through the interactive use of medical equipment, model kits and teddy bears.
  3. Understand the attention span and cognitive and developmental milestones a child should demonstrate by kindergarten-age.  
  4. Take a complete history and focused clinical examination on the child’s teddy bear, involving the child in an educational but age-appropriate manner.
  5. Discuss the importance of exercise, nutrition and immunizations using a teddy bear as proxy, in order to educate a kindergarten population.


By the end of the sessions, pediatric residents will be able to:
  1. Interact with medical students and children in a kindergarten classroom, encouraging a realistic clinic-type environment.
  2. Serve as attending physician and direct medical students to ask their patients pertinent questions.
  3. Monitor medical students’ examinations, and assess their knowledge of appropriate medications and treatment modalities.
  4. Listen to clinical presentations by medical students, and provide constructive feedback on ways to improve communication skills.
  5. Gain practical hands-on experience in teaching and mentoring of medical students in a school environment.


Prior to the Teddy Bear Hospital date, all medical students will receive assigned readings to educate them in age-appropriate ways to discuss health, nutrition and physical exercise. One week before the clinic date, all participants will meet for a 40-minute training session. Medical residents will facilitate a focused discussion of the readings. The director will discuss the workflow of the Teddy Bear Hospital, and assign roles to all participants.