About me


¡Hola! I am Paulina Pérez-Duarte Mendiola, MD, MSc

I am a clinical paediatrician and medical anthropologist. My career has focused on improving the holistic outcomes of children’s health and addressing healthcare inequalities. 

I completed my Pediatric Residency at Children’s Hospital of Mexico Federico Gomez (HIMFG), where I later joined the Emergency Department. 

As a university professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), I taught undergraduate and postgraduate medical students. I hold a Master’s degree in Medical Anthropology from University College London (UCL) where my research focused on the profound impact of ‘Play’ on sick-children’s development, learning and healthcare experiences.

I have presented at conferences and published articles promoting the use of an anthropological approach to paediatric-healthcare, hospitalised children’s human rights and the role of the Health Play Specialists (Child-Life Specialists) in the United Kingdom.

Currently, in my role as a ‘Play and Health’ researcher, I am a PhD Candidate at the PEDAL Hub (Play in Education, Development and Learning), within the University of Cambridge. The main aim of this doctoral research is to capture children’s perspectives regarding their ‘interactions with Health Play Specialists’.


Ongoing projects:

  • PhD in Education: ‘Play & Health Research’ at the PEDAL Hub, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

    Proposed research: ‘An Investigation of children’s perspectives regarding their interactions with Health Play Specialists’.

    Supervisor: Dr Paul Ramchandani, LEGO Professor of Play in Education, Development and Learning.

    Summary: This research is designed to capture children’s perspectives on how ‘Health Play Specialists help children make-meaning and understand/learn about their illness. One of my main objectives is to carefully understand and evaluate the place of ‘Play’ in paediatric-healthcare-settings and discover how it might transforms a child’s hospital experience, as well as the potential benefits for their developmental-wellbeing.

  • Founder and Director of Semana JIMPlay in Hospital Awareness Week in Mexico’ (Semana del Juego Intrahospitalario en México), Mexico.

    Semana JIM is a virtual space for students and child healthcare professionals who want to:

    (1) Learn how to provide child-friendly medical care, in order to improve their paediatric clinical practice.

    (2) Inspire other healthcare professionals and younger generations to acquire a ‘Pro-Play’ mindset.

    (3) Meet more child-healthcare professionals interested in this innovative area of knowledge and discover new professional opportunities.

  • Director of Advocacy and Engagement at Pediatric Potential, United States of America.

    Collaborate with global organisations to create durable and mutually beneficial relationships to promote paediatric psychosocial care initiatives. Advisory role to the company’s strategy, networking and growth.

    Pediatric Potential is a non-political, non-profit organisation committed to strengthening the well-being and resilience of underserved, hospitalised children and families worldwide.

  • Content Curator & Translator for CARDMEDIC App, United Kingdom.

    Development and supervision of content for the website and CARDMEDIC app designed to improve communication between healthcare staff and patients, across any barrier – whether that’s visual, hearing or cognitive impairment, a language barrier, or PPE (personal protective equipment). 

    Follow my work on Instagram!

    @paediatricianwithsign

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