Bear With Me - Doctor Bear
I discovered Doctor Bear on Twitter, and a thorough look at their account made me really curious to learn more about this unique formation and what they do exactly. We found a date when all of us could sit down with a coffee, and I had the best evening this week getting to know a little these amazing and fun ladies.
Meet Doctor Bear, the 4 paediatricians who are also mummies.
I asked them to tell me how Doctor Bear was created…
Becky: We came up with the concept of Doctor Bear when I was on maternity leave with my third child and we just met for coffee; me, Siobhan and Bianca. We've all worked together in various capacities during the years and we talked about how useful it would be for people to have somewhere they could go to learn about childhood illnesses. Particularly when you read the Facebook mum's groups and chats, it's quite clear that lots of people don't know what we would consider basic child health information.
Bianca: Actually Carolyn and I have been talking about this for over two years.
Carolyn: We went from talking about it in November to running our first course in February. There is a lot of misinformation out there and we were really keen that people have high quality, straight from the horse's mouth, information that's really easy for them to grasp.
Siobhan: Surprisingly, I think we are unique, in a fact that we are all paediatricians. We are used to dealing with medical emergencies and poorly children daily in our jobs and have an insight into first aid and child health training that other providers may not have.
The courses are really enjoyable to run. People are motivated because they want to have the confidence to look after their little ones. We're constantly shaping our courses to make sure what we give is the most appropriate information. It's such a joy to answer questions and know that you're filling a gap of what people really want to know.
Becky: And we make it quite fun, we always serve a glass of wine and some nice nibbles, it's a very enjoyable evening for us all, and very informal.
Bianca: Very hands on as well, there's always a practical session, we get the mannequins out for teaching chest compressions.
Carolyn: We encourage people to ask as many questions as they want. And what has made running it even more enjoyable is that you have got the experience of your own children, so when people ask about things you've got the paediatrician angle and the parent angle, and hopefully for most things can come up with something sensible to offer.
Becky: We do bespoke courses as well for groups of friends for example. We've been out to people's houses, like an NCT group and a twins' club. There were a whole load of twin parents, it was really good fun, and very relaxed.
Carolyn: We're writing new courses so we can really focus the talks around what people need. For example a specific course for children with more complex needs. This way we're building up a library of our courses, and one of our future plan is to have them running all over London.
Siobhan: We just launched and exciting partnership with Crafted London, that runs craft workshops for children. We are going to do a weekend workshop where parents will be able to learn about first aid whilst their child does craft activity or plays in the soft play area.
Becky: Our evening courses are two and a half hours, but these afternoon ones are going to be one and a half hour focusing only on really key information. Also we've been asked to launch a course for late primary school aged children doing basic first aid.
Carolyn: To give health education for children is part of our remit as paediatricians, so it will be a free service.
Siobhan: We're all very motivated and passionate about what we're doing.
Becky: Mind you my kids thought Doctor Bear was a real person.
Lots of people say they go away feeling much more confident and we had a few mums come to our course saying, right I'm sending my husband on that!
Carolyn: Maybe that's one of our long term goals to have our own little mascot.
Siobhan: We receive very positive written and verbal feedback after every course, some on our Facebook page as well.
Siobhan: One of the reviews summed up quite nicely why our courses are worth attending, which is about how it's really nice to get medical and practical advice from people that day in - day out deal with medical emergencies in children, explained in a way that's easy to understand, rather than just quoting from a text book.