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Johns Hopkins' Pediatric Cardiologist Visits SEED in recognition of American Heart Month
Washington DC, February 15, 2012 - Dr. Shetarra Walker, a pediatric cardiologist from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, visited the SEED school during American Heart Month to talk to a group of 30 students about the links between childhood obesity and heart disease. Walker's informative and engaging talk prompted students to raise their arms in the air, asking questions like, "What is a lipid?" and "What is cholesterol?" She shared with the students that over a third of the District of Columbia's children are considered clinically obese and that awareness of the relationship between childhood obesity and heart disease is imperative for promoting good health. In addition, she discussed with the students the importance of establishing a healthy diet and regular exercise in maintaining a healthy heart.
The students were most affected by the slides Dr. Walker presented featuring both morbidly overweight and underweight individuals. SEED students easily grasped the idea behind the cyclical nature of childhood obesity. For example, one student pointed out that the overweight student feels discouraged during physical activity with peers and may feels embarrassed or ashamed which further discourages exercise.
Walker's lecture was not only informative from a didactic standpoint, but also from an inspirational one. She shared her academic and career path to becoming a doctor, which included a childhood interest in animals, followed by an early interest in research. An undergraduate education at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County, followed by medical school at Boston University, and a pediatric residency at Children's National Medical Center prepared her to become the knowledgeable, charismatic, and compassionate doctor she is today. Her gentle, but dedicated approach to her lecture left students with added inspiration and awareness of a career path in the medical field and a life of healthy choices.
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