The main focus of the article is the Clown Care Unit or Clown Doctors that work in New York City hospitals in the United States. It describes who they are and what they do. Then, the article goes on to draw comparisons to western and non-western methods of healing. Other cultures in the world have used some form of a clown doctor for treating people in need. The origin of clown doctors has been traced back to shamanism. After being introduced to the general principles of these healers, we get to learn about the day in the life of the New York clown doctors. One day of work is documented from beginning to end with much detail.
In this case the Clown Doctors are the healers. Though their methods are far different from traditional western doctors, they can be very helpful to patients and their family. They begin the day by getting into costumes, which usually means donning some variation of what we know as a clown suit. Working in pairs of three they use props like puppets, bells, amongst an assortment of other wacky items. These are not doctors that heal patients through surgery, but through laughter and diversion they help heal the mind. The article explains, “Their activities include entertaining bored children and mothers in crowded out-patient clinic waiting rooms, distracting anxious families in inner-city emergency rooms, comforting parents of children in intensive care units, and distracting small AIDS or cancer patients during painful and frightening procedures. In many ways, CCU clowns resemble shamans and traditional healers of non-Western societies.” In the story of Dr. Do More and Dr. Bobo, it describes how they go from different parts of the hospitals to cheer up children and family members. They have to be careful of any children who may react negatively or get too overexcited.
While western medicine usually focuses on healing the body, the methods of the clown doctors focus on helping the mind much like shamans. The main goal of their work is to help patients try to forget about their illness, even for just that short time they are with them. Through laughter, tricks, and games clown doctors attempt to free the mind of negativity. Though, they do not claim to cure anything. They are also no cost to the patients they assist, unlike the medical procedures that doctors and nurses conduct. The health care system in the United States has caused many issues in the recent years. Many people who need treatment are simply refused because they cannot obtain coverage.