New student organization studies the heart

A new student org wants to get blood flowing. The Pediatric Heart Circle is a club dedicated to studying the heart in adults and children.

The goal of the club is “to give students a hands-on experience and outlook into the pre-health field with a focus in cardiology,” said Tara Mary Aziz, biology major and president and founder.

Aziz said she wanted the club to focus on the heart because congenital heart defects – structural heart problems that are present at birth – are the most common type of birth defect, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Also, the health of the heart affects the health of the rest of the body.

The club focuses on pediatrics as well, even though it’s usually studied separately from the rest of medicine.

“It starts with the children,” said Nasam Jajou, health science major and vice president.

The club has three meetings planned so far. At the first meeting on Thursday, Oct. 8, groups of students will perform mock-examinations on hired actors who have pre-set medical complaints and diseases. Each actor will have a patient history form. The groups will discuss their findings after.

At the second meeting, an emergency medical technician (EMT) will demonstrate what to do when someone goes into cardiac arrest. The EMT will give participants a hypothetical situation, and the participants will perform CPR on a dummy accordingly.

“Emergencies happen everywhere,” Jajou said.

At the third meeting, a pediatric cardiologist, or heart doctor for children, will offer students an interactive activity that allows them to hear heart murmurs, or unusual sounds within a heartbeat, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

The pediatric cardiologist will also talk about potential career paths and the ethical side of a pediatric career, which is especially important since parents must make medical decisions for their children.

“We want (students) to understand a health care taker’s bond to their patients,” Aziz said.

Members will receive a certificate of completion after each meeting.

The club’s website says, “We prepare so we’re aware.” Aziz and Jajou want members to be able to apply what they learn at meetings.

Because each event requires so much planning, Pediatric Heart Circle will have four or five meetings each semester. But the work is worth it to Aziz and Jajou.

“We want to show people the fun side of health care,” Aziz said.

“We’re just passionate about the medical field,” Jajou said.

However, this club isn’t just for students who plan to work in the medical field. Aziz and Jajou want to offer fun, interactive activities for students of all majors.

Jajou also pointed out that participating in interactive activities help to build people skills, which are useful for all majors.

Pediatric Heart Circle often advertises in the Oakland Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Its first meeting is 1:15 to about 2:30 on Thursday, Oct. 8 in SFH 170.

Students interested in attending a Pediatric Heart Circle event should join the club on GrizzOrgs. For more information, visit or find the group on Instagram. The group keeps its website updated.