The article “Clown Doctors: Shaman Healers of Western Medicine” was about the Clown Care Unit (CCU) who works in the pediatric wards in NYC hospitals. Their job is to go to patients rooms and entertain them to relieve pain and anxiety that they are feeling. These clowns are thought to represent shamans/traditional healers of the non-western societies.
CCU’s do not claim to actually cure anything besides possibly helping with anxiety illnesses. Their main job is to help with social healing and finding a different way to help them without actually operating. The clowns will go in the waiting room and entertain the parents and patients, and they will also distract the kids during painful procedures. Going off topic for a minute, I volunteered in Children’s Hospital last summer and they would do the exact same thing with having clowns. From what I saw they would make balloon animals for the kids and go visit patients rooms just to put a smile on their faces in this scary time they are going through. These clowns are not doctors whatsoever, but they try to help the patients as much as a doctor would. When you compare them to shamans you can see the similarities clearly. Both of them have weird costumes, props and behaviors and both entertain to help cure. Some even believe that the shamans and clowns pay more attention to the patients illness than the doctors actually do.
Seeing as the clowns operate in a hospital, the healthcare is dealt with a lot differently than what the clowns do. The doctors are there to actually cure the disease (cancer, broken bones, etc.) but the clowns deal with the other symptoms (mood, depression, family members). The clowns are there for a comic relief and are just important as the doctors are for the patient’s health and wellness.