Where can you find a 92-year-old carousel, a tortilla factory, and the gravesite of the first African American woman physician to work in New York City? In Brooklyn, of course! These are just some of the things 10 neophyte pediatricians learned about their new home borough on June 25. The physicians, all of whom start their pediatric residencies at The Brooklyn Hospital Center this July, participated in a Brooklyn Treasure Hunt as part of their orientation.
Two teams traveled throughout Brooklyn gathering items as diverse as a handful of sand from Brighton Beach, a napkin from Junior's, and a sample of Jacques Torres chocolate. Each team was provided with Metro cards, maps (courtesy of the Brooklyn Tourism office at Borough Hall), water bottles and digital cameras to record their adventures. The event was launched from the steps of Borough Hall by Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz, who issued a proclamation declaring June 25 to be The Brooklyn Hospital Center Pediatric Residency Day.
"This year's first year group comes from China, the Philippines, and Romania among other places and does not yet know about the cultural richness of Brooklyn," said Dr. Susan Gottlieb, Chief of Child Development and the creator of the Treasure Hunt, "This activity will introduce our new doctors to the incredible diversity of people and places in our borough."
"We hope that this experience will translate into an increased sensitivity to and appreciation of the different backgrounds of the children and families they will be taking care of during their training," Dr. Ken Bromberg, Chairman of Pediatrics added.
At the end of the day, two tired but exhilarated groups of residents returned to the hospital with their treasures and were treated to a celebratory ethnic feast. All agreed that the Treasure Hunt should become a permanent part of the orientation program. Dr. Ritu Walia spoke for her colleagues when she said, "It was a wonderful experience. We learned about Brooklyn and about each other."