Clown Doctors in NYC

I found “Clown Doctors: Shaman Healers of Western Medicine” to be incredibly interesting. After reading the first paragraph I would’ve never guessed that these practices take place first of all in the United States, nonetheless New York City. In this article they refer to these clowns as doctors. They are dressed up and essentially go from patient to patient cheering them up and easing the stress on them and their families about procedures or an illness in general. They wear stethoscopes and big red noses to entertain the patients. In the article they mention that clown like performances originated in shamanistic performances. Shamans are basically medicine men that perform spiritual practices on those who have been inflicted with illness or disease.

In this case, the healers are not only the medical doctors but the clown doctors. The medical doctors handle the biological aspects of health but I think the clown doctors handle the psychological and social aspects of health. I am a firm believer in the biopsychosocial model of health and that is why I feel that the clown doctors have seen so much success because they hit the psychological and social aspect of not only the patient but the family. It is obvious how the biomedical doctors handle the biological aspects of heath as they perform surgeries, give medicine, etc. But the clown doctors seek to give happiness to the family and the patient. I feel that this would be incredibly beneficial in a highly stressful environment. The family is not the only one in pain. Families may be feeling grief or stress as life threatening diseases and cancers and the only thing they really need is a laugh or a smile. I can totally relate to this as my mother had to have emergency brain surgery at the start of this summer and the only thing that could make me feel somewhat better were my friends who brought laughs and joy to me, rather than the grieving aspect of it all. I feel that the psych and social aspect of health play a much larger role in one’s complete being than most people expect.

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  1. Cheyenne Benyi says:

    I cannot believe that this is happening in New York City. There are TV shows that imitate this type of healing, however I did not know that this is actually real, and is practiced in our country. I think that at any part of the world, this would be extremely beneficial to all patients. This also helps to relieve stress of everybody involved in an illness; a laugh will always make you feel a little better. Even though a doctor may seem a bit less credible when wearing a clown costume, I believe that this approach will help a lot of suffering patients. I think that overall, these doctors are there to bring positive vibes more than they are to actually treat a patient. I still find this to be highly effective even if these clown doctors are not credited as highly as normal doctors are. I think that this concept should be spread throughout the United States, especially in children’s hospitals. Children that are severely ill have very unfortunate lives and I think these doctors would help to make that experience a little more cheerful.
    Im really sorry to hear that about your mother, but its great that you had your friends there to help cheer you up. Sometimes, all you really need is someone there to make you laugh.

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