GREAT FALLS — Going to the doctor can be scary, especially when you're a child. So the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine teamed up with the Great Falls Public Library and Toby's Place to host "Docs and Tots" on Friday, February 9, 2024.
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The event allowed kids to learn about the tools and procedures of doctor’s offices in a lighthearted, fun environment.
“We are just delighted to welcome them, and this is such a neat opportunity for kids and families,” said Rae McFadden, Youth Services Librarian. “We’ve already talked to couple of future doctors today.”
The event was inspired by Susie Zeak, the director of Toby’s House Crisis Nursery, who in her own life watched a nurse calm her child down who was overwhelmed at the doctor’s office.
“Because I work with children, I know how to talk to children,” Zeak said, “And I thought, what a great thing to team up with Toby's House and childcares and the library to get these medical students to kind of, you know, get used to children, because children can be a lot sometimes.”
Through medical coloring books and toy medical devices, the kids got to play with the equipment in a way that helped them see it was not all scary.
“I know for a little kid it can be a little bit scary to have things come up close and personal to their face,” said Alyssa Hart, a first-year medical student at Touro College. “So just getting more exposure with the different tools, with us, there’s some stuffed animals to make them comfortable as well.”
For Zeak, it is important to remember that meeting someone on their level can go a long way.
“We're working with humans,” Zeak said, “And humans just need that, you know, personal touch.”
Toby’s House website: https://tobyshousemt.org
Great Falls Public Library website: https://www.greatfallslibrary.org