"PALS" Program


Parent testimonials of the Pals Program

Mary Jones , parent participant- ". Based on our positive experience with (our student), I have volunteered our family to help encourage students in the medical program at the U of A to participate in a similar program. I think it is so good for both the students and the children who participate in the program. These children need someone other then their parents to vent to and lean on when it seems too hard to go on and the students get to see how their potential patients really feel. My daughter was willing to share things with (the student) she wouldn't tell me or the doctors."

Student testimonials of the Pals Program

    Pals at the 2006 Halloween party    

Betsy E. student- ".(my pal) was generally tired and not very interested in playing games or watching videos with me.I considered this difficulty to be a realistic view of the challenge I might face as a pediatrician, trying to communicate with young patients who are tired of being seen by many physicians and tired of feeling different from their peers. I will take these insights and experiences and apply them to my future clinical experiences in pediatrics."

Philip K. student- ".(my pal) taught me how hard it is to be a child with a very serious illness. He reminded of how lucky I am. More importantly he gave me an insight into the complexities of the emotions that children experience as they face the unknown, and the courage they have to go on to kick a soccer ball some other day. Personally I learned the value of just being there. Support is critical even if you have nothing to say. I will be able to take this with me as I start clinics this year, and I will have this with me as I practice. "

Liz O. student- "...PALs has been one of the best experiences I have had as a Stanford medical student. So much time is spent in the classroom and the library during the first year of medical school that having a program like PALs really helped to remind me why I choose to become a doctor. I have had two PALs over the course of the last year, one young girl with AML (who is now in remission!) and another teenage girl with kidney disease who is currently on dialysis. Throughout the last year I have been with my PALs to many of their doctors' appointments, I have seen them through multiple procedures, and I have just hung out with them in the waiting room and played games to pass the time. Being a part of the PALs program has been a great way to get to know the physicians and nurses at Packard, and to get an idea of what various pediatric specialties are like. But, the relationships I have formed with my PALs themselves have been very important and we have done many fun things together. I have taken my PALs to places like Santa Cruz , the movies, Laser Tag, Pizza lunches, the Stanford Mall, and much more! I have become very close with both of my PALs, and I plan to keep in touch with them as I continue with my career.
I also thought that the PAL's class was a perfect complement to the PAL relationship. During class I learned more about my PAL's illness and about other pediatric diseases. I have also enjoyed learning about pediatric pain management, learning about the role of the child life department, and hearing testimonials from families with children who are sick or handicapped.
I highly recommend this program to any and all medical students. I truly never thought that I would have an opportunity this early in my career to make such a tremendous difference in the life of a child, and I am so thankful to the PALs program for giving me this opportunity."


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