Teddy Bear Hospital – Nallesjukhuset – IFMSA-Sweden

Name of the activity: Teddy Bear Hospital – Nallesjukhuset

Country/NMO: IFMSA-Sweden

Program: Ethics and Human Rights in Health

Contact information: contact [email protected] to get in touch with the Activity Coordinator

Type of the activity: Continuous Activity

Category: Education

Focus area: Teddy Bear Hospital

Sustainable Development Goals addressed: SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being)

General description:

Teddy Bear Hospital is an IFMSA-Sweden project in which medical students visit kindergardens, or invite kindergarden classes to the hospital, to teach children about the human body and to develop trust and ease in health care professionals, as well as the health care system. This is achieved by having children between the ages of (AGE) assist in the treatment of their own teddy bears. Furthermore, the project aims to train medical students in their professional contact with children. 

Problem statement:

Many children experience anxiety in medical settings and around medical professionals. For example, a study conducted in 2022 states that 40-60% of children experience anxiety preoperatively which might impact the outcome negatively. Many medical students feel unsure how to interact with a child in an age-appropriate way. 

Target groups:

  • Medical students
  • Healthcare Students
  • Children
  • People with disabilities


  • General population
  • Medical students
  • Healthcare Students
  • Doctors
  • Other health professionals
  • Children
  • People with disabilities


Obj. 1 Within 12 months introduce at least 100 children between 3-6 years of age to medical settings and procedures by showing them at least 3 of the most common medical procedures in children. 

Obj. 2 Within 12 months reduce childhood uneasiness in at least 100 children between 3-6 years of age in medical settings by 30%.

Obj. 3 Within 12 months teach at least 100 children between 3-6 years of age at least 6 valuable terms and facts about their body.

Obj. 4 Within 12 months teach at least 20 medical students at least 2 different ways to approach children in a professional setting.

Indicators of Success:

IoS 1 Within 12 months at least 10 visits to kindergartens have been conducted.

IoS 2 Within 12 months at least 60% of at least 100 children between 3-6 years of age responded to the childhood uneasiness assessment with a reduction of at least 30%.  

IoS 3 Within 12 months at least 60% of children between 3-6 years of age who participate in the Teddy Bear Hospital have answered “yes” to the question whether they learned something new about their body during the activity. 

IoS 4 Within 12 months at least 50% of educated Teddy Bear doctors have answered “yes” to the question whether they have learned something new about approaching children in a professional setting during their Teddy Bear doctor training.


The project is an ongoing activity throughout the entire year in all 7 LCs within IFMSA Sweden and the activities can slightly differ between these LCs. 

Sometimes children are invited to the universities clinical training center, where a hospital setting is simulated, sometimes medical students visit kindergartens or even children in children’s hospitals. The activity is always the same. It starts with drawing a child on a big paper and drawing or placing pictures of organs on it, while discussing the functions of the most important organs. Then medical students in playfully decorated white coats in a role play together with the children examine and conduct medical procedures on soft toys that the children were asked to bring with them. The Teddy Bear doctor training is conducted through peer-learning since several years back. Trainings usually take place once per term and focuse on informing on the project and interactive training of communication with children.

A national project coordinator coordinates the local project coordinators, who in turn democratically elect a project board according to the needs of the specific LC and then in turn recruit volunteers who get trained to be Teddy Bear doctors and then conduct the visits. 

Methods used for the training are a Teddy Bear training containing a lecture part (powerpoint presentation) of approximately 45 minutes and an interactive experience-based workshop part of approximately 60 minutes.  

Plans for evaluation:

In at least 4 LCs a post- and pre-evaluation will be implemented to assess childhood uneasiness by asking children to point out a face that matches their anxiety level before and after the role play. Additionally, in the end of a visit, the participating children are asked whether they learned something during the visit and if so what. In 6 LCs there are two evaluation forms in use: Kindergarten teachers are asked about their experience during the activity, if they have suggestions for improvement and if and how they followed up the visit of the Teddy Bear Hospital. Medical students are asked about their experience if they learned something (and what) during the activity and if they have suggestions for improvement. These forms will help us to watch the project and thus will be able to keep to improve it. Twice yearly, the local program coordinators report the total number of visits twice yearly to the national project coordinator. In addition a meeting with the national and local coordinators is conducted 4 times a year (2 per term) to collect input from both the quantitative and qualitative evaluations and to discuss possible ways to improve the project in all the LCs. We will also deploy form among our lectors to see , how are they developing. The evaluation strategy thus includes both qualitative and quantitative elements. 

External collaborations:

The different universities provide rooms and the university hospitals sometimes provide expired material and clothing.

Sporadic collaboration with hospital coffee shops and companies producing for example band aids exist in several locations.


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