Sunday, March 11, 2012

Doctoring Through Humor

Every once in a while, funny things happen. This time, brilliantly dressed man, tall in stature with half a head of blue hair paced on the stage recanting memories from his career as a medical doctor and health activist. There was no shortage of clowning, which was only exaggerated when he literally disappeared inside his over-sized pants...yes really. 

Smile, It Scares the Blues Away

Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to and chat with Hunter Adams, better known as "Patch" Adams. Most people recognize the Hollywood title, and in person, he was simply fantastic. Patch is a one of a kind personality who has established the Gesundheit Institute, a free medical clinic where health is paramount for the individual, family and community. While in his final years of medical school, Patch had a vision on how to change the world and healthcare itself by eliminating the "red tape" that is found in bureaucratic medicine. His cheery disposition, desire to spread happiness and creative outlook stoke a positive reaction in most people who have the pleasure of his company.

On the verge of practicing medicine myself as a rookie doctor, I spent a couple minutes consulting with Dr. Adams. After expressing my enthusiasm for my fast approaching residency and my simultaneous anxiety of the same, he could not fathom why as this is the best time to grow as a young doctor. His words of advice were to "never lose the humor." There are so many positive experiences to be had that it would be a shame to miss out on account of fearing the experience itself. Through his discourse, personality and example, I am reminded that we can be whoever we want and that it is acceptable to be the one who doesn't follow the norm. Compassion is a characteristic that is given to benefit the lives of others, and in my eyes, Patch exemplifies this quality with great finesse. Thank you for your words and example.

Question of the Week
What can I do to contribute to a happier me and society?

Answer & Explanation


  1. Wow! How cool is that?! That it is awesome!

    How did you happen to meet Dr. Adams?

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  3. My school hosted him as a lecturer. After speaking on campus, he visited the local children's hospital and lectured to community members where I saw him. He definitely shared some wonderful insight!


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