By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
1st graders like idea of health career
Hosp kids DSC 6780
St. Anthonys School student Jillian Ramirez, 5, was the only one of the 22 students in the conference center who said she wanted to be a doctor while several saying they wanted to be nurses during a field trip Monday to Doctors Hospital of Manteca. Ramirez was placed on a table in the front of the room with a borrowed white lab coat and a stethoscope around her neck. The children looking on are, from left, Ashley Marie DeBelen, Dahlil Ambos, B.J. Cutar, Isabella Cocio, Jeremy Bettencourt, Danica Cesante and J.P. Abrew. The two hospital staffers are DHM educator Susie Blair at left and R.N. Melissa Tilford. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

First grade students from St. Anthony’s School were more attentive than their years during a field trip at Doctors Hospital of Manteca Monday morning where they were given a complete orientation of just what the hospital does for its patients young and old.

When hospital staffer Susie Blair asked who would like to be a nurse when they grow up, there were four or five hands that were raised from throughout the 22 students sitting in the hospital conference center.

Next she asked the children how many would like to be a doctor, only one responded, 5-year-old Jillian Ramirez. Ironically it is what sparked oncologist and developer of Manteca’s cancer center, Dr. Amarjit Dhaliwal, M.D.’s vocation choice that first came to light when he was just a youngster when on an elementary school field trip of his own years ago.

Dhaliwal said this week in a Bulletin story that when he saw all those white coats at the hospital he visited,  he knew he wanted one of his own.  He promised himself then he would someday be a physician wearing a white coat.  Dhaliwal has gone far beyond the promise he made to himself and was recently named the Stanislaus Medical Associations Physician of the Year.  There were some 250 of his peers and their wives celebrating his successes last week in Modesto.

After the young girl’s announcement in front of other first graders, she was lifted onto a table at the front of the room.  A white lab coat was borrowed from a registered nurse just as Steve Atwood from the Respiratory Therapy Department entered the room.  He was wearing a stethoscope that was quickly borrowed and placed around Jillian’s neck.

The children from St. Anthony’s sitting in the front row were asked to get up and form a background behind the girl and look up at her.  Like Dhaliwal from years past, it could turn out to become a reality in the future.

Staffers from the hospital’s many departments began 10-minute presentations to better help the students understand what they did in the hospital and why they did it.  That included nursing, lab, imaging, cardio, surgery, physical therapy and the dietician who talked about the importance of nutrition.

The hospital staff presenters included Susie Blair, Celia Thompson, Abbie Beran, Kris Gesler, Steve Atwood, Diane Haupt, Eric Rudel, Melissa Tilford and Kristine Bordessa.