I had a great morning: I spent two hours in a primary school telling kids about what it’s like to be a doctor. I’ve done these gigs a few times before, and every time I leave I understand why primary school teachers love what they are doing. Pretty much devoid of cynicism, these kids still love learning, are genuinely interested into pretty much everything and ask questions straight from the heart. First in assembly, then in a classroom full of year five kids, I haven’t had that much fun since since seeing ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. The questions where thought- and insightful and to my surprised ranged from the gory (‘Have you ever seen a live brain’?) to the philosophical (‘What do you do when people have to die’) to the hard – hitting (‘Have you ever lost a patient’). I was asked whether I had a PhD (No. Bummer.) and was told GPs are the bestest doctors of all because they know EVERYTHING (which is of course almost true).
The whole shindig is organised by ‘Primary Futures‘ which aims “to widen the horizons and aspirations of primary school children by helping them make the connections between their learning and their futures”, and coordinated by the Education and Employment Taskforce, a charity that as far as I understand was launched by good old Gordon Brown in 2009. My main reason for registering as a volunteer was an article in the Guardian reporting on the incredible lack of medical students from poorer background in the UK which really disturbed me, as back at medical school in Germany we seemed to have pretty broad spectrum of students, straight through classes and ethnicity (probably due to the lack of significant student fees).
So, if you have an interesting job and you have a few hours, register and tell a bunch of ten year olds what you’re doing. They will appreciate it and might just quote you 20 years later.