Clown Doctors in NYC

I chose to reflect on the article “Clown Doctors: Shaman Healers of Western Medicine”. In this article, the author presents the daily lives of clowns working in NYC hospitals and the unique care they provide to patients. These “Clown Doctors”, as the article refers to them, are people specialized in mime, puppetry, and magic tricks, who come to the hospital on a daily basis to make the hospital experience more enjoyable for pediatric patients, their families, as well as, the nurses and doctors on the floors. Clown Doctors meet nervous patients in outpatient waiting rooms and keep them company during scary procedures, like chemotherapy and burn wound changing. The article compares the lives of these Clown Doctors with Shaman Healers. Comparatively, the article argues that the psychological and social support provided by both the Clown Doctors and the Shaman Healers leads to a better understanding of procedures and illness, as well as, keeps patients in good mental health in stressful times. These Clown Doctors are people who have been to clown school and have taken special classes to be able to help their patients. I would hypothesize that these Clown Doctors are part of the working class and average social class. The Clown Doctors play tricks and make patients laugh by using toys and colorful outfits. These Clown Doctors also interact with hospital supplies to show their patients that the procedure about to be preformed on them is not scary. The doctor may even pretend to do the procedure on the clown to show how effortless and painless the procedure may be, as well as, bringing a few smiles to the patient’s face. Although these Clown Doctors are not typically providing the procedures and medicines to the patients, the Clown Doctors help keep the patient in good mental health during stressful times and painful procedures. The Clown Doctors interact in the average Western hospitals. In these Hospitals, the biomedical approach to disease and illness is used, meaning usually, the diagnosis and treatment are based on biomedical tests and medicines used to treat the found illness or disease. Healthcare is delivered from hospitals and privatized doctors offices with medical doctors who are upheld highly in the community. The body is treated when a concern of health is brought forth by the patient to the doctor. The doctor may then run tests and proscribe medicines to control or treat symptoms. Based on this, one can see that the Clown Doctors are not the typical care provider, and instead, provide more moral support and happiness than actual medical diagnosis and treatment.

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