Get your scrubs on! We’ve been checking out the new Doctor for a Day educational app developed by Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. This is a first-of-its-kind free edutainment app designed by a healthcare provider where a child can earn points, unlock achievements and win real doctor toys. Different toys are available for redemption at different periods, and there are no in-app purchases or pop-up advertisements (so you won’t get any credit card shockers at the end of the month).
Recommended for children aged four to eight years of age, the Doctor for a Day App teaches children:
• The importance of good personal hygiene through regular hand-washing.
• Basic surgical techniques and their terminology through games at ‘Operating Theatres’. Parents are encouraged to guide their child through each procedure.
• To enhance their visual memory through the Anatomy Memory game.
• Basic motor skills as they tap and glide their fingers across the screen while they play.
• Creativity as they mix-and-match hairstyles and accessories to customise their doctor avatar before they start the game.
The app features a virtual hospital with different rooms. There is an Operating Theatre, where children can practise their motor skills and learn about basic operating procedures like incising, injecting and suturing. There is a Doctor’s Office, where you can have fun dressing up your doctor and the office.
There is an Anatomy Memory section where you can hone your memory and learn about the human anatomy with memory cards of different body parts. Then there is the Pharmacy, where you can dispense medication to patients, but you have to be quick and precise, or they may leave in a huff!
What Mummy Thinks
For someone who doesn’t use learning apps often, I must say I like the way the app covers different aspects of learning through the different “rooms” or mini games. The kids get to undergo memory training, motor skills practice, as well as observation and matching skills, all in one app.
Because it is interactive, the childen don’t just sit back and watch something happen. They are a part of the game and action, from designing their doctor (moustache or no moustache?) to washing their hands using the right hand-washing techniques before performing a medical procedure.
Of course, the procedure is shown in a simpler, child-friendly manner, and there is no blood and gore (thankfully). But as long as we parents are guiding the child as they play, it does present an opportunity for us to talk to them about the work that doctors and surgeons do.
My favourite part of the app is the Pharmacy, where children get to play the game Pharmacy Panic. This is where the child needs to correctly dispense the medication to the patient in the shortest time. While the matching seems fairly obvious, it does require speed and observation skills as some of the pills look rather similar.
The app even tests my knowledge of certain anatomical terms! So I think for future versions, it might be helpful to have the right terminology (and description of use) of the anatomy parts displayed for parents’ reference, or for older kids to read and learn by themselves.
For future versions, I hope to see some rooms dedicated to the work of nurses as well. This will enable children to understand the different roles of healthcare professionals, the various aspects of running a hospital, and the amount of care involved in nursing a sick person back to health.
What The Kids Think
“I like the dressing up part because I get to dress up the doctor. The spectacles look funny, so I don’t like to wear them.”
“I like the Pharmacy best because I can give the medicine to help the patients. I have to try to give them the right medicine so that they are happy when they leave. If I’m too slow or I get the medicine wrong, they are unhappy.”
“I also like the operating theatre. I get to cut the skin open, and remove the bad bugs and tumours. Then after that, I have to sew the skin back. It’s fun to do that. I hope the patient gets well soon.”
Want to let your child experience Doctor for a Day in real life? We’re giving away two (2) tickets to the 90-minute event on Sunday, 7 December, 3.20pm, at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. Your child has to be between five and 10 years old to attend. How to win a Golden Ticket and get a slot? Just leave us a comment below telling us why your child wants to be a Doctor for a Day. We’ll get in touch with you through your comment email address if you are one of the winners.
Closing date: 27 November, 11.59pm.