I chose to discuss the article titled “Clown Doctors: Shaman Healers of Western Medicine.” The article talks about a specific care unit in New York City hospitals called ‘The Clown Care Unit’ and how they resemble the shaman healers, which are non-Western healers. The article discusses that these two nonconventional healers ‘violate natural and cultural’ rules in their performances, and help both the family and the patients with the current illness. The article discusses that integrating clown doctors can provide ‘complementary therapy’ and can improve the overall efficacy of medical treatment for children in the West. The clown doctors mimic the role of real doctor and make kids less fearful of the real doctor.
The healers, as discussed in the article, are clown doctors. The clowns do not offer any ‘real’ healing. But instead boost morale of the family and patients that they meet. The article talks about how clowns performances originated from shamanistic performances. Clown performances are acts of communication about culture that can provoke emotional responses and has been associated with psychological healing for a long time. Their techniques are not conventional by a western allopathic standpoint, and they use weird costumes, music, sleight of hand, puppet/spirit helpers, and ventriloquism. The clowns, however, do not have as much autonomy as regular doctors and are often told by real doctors where they can go in the hospital and which patients they can interact with. The clowns use specific techniques like blowing bubbles out of stethoscopes. They also wear bright colored doctor coats and perform.
The clown doctors are found in Western culture and the article mentioned the CCU in NYC hospitals. Healthcare in Western culture is delivered in a primarily biomedicine standpoint. By using this method, doctors and healthcare officials in most Western areas assess a disease or illness based on the biological factors that contribute to it. In Western cultures, the body is evaluated based on our knowledge of basic sciences and applied to clinical settings. This means that science is the way that we primarily diagnose illness in our society. The treatment is initiated by pinpointing the biological/biochemical cause of an ailment. Medication is given by doctors to help cure the portion of the body that is experiencing harm.