Clown Doctors in NYC

The article “Clown Doctors: Shaman Healers of Western Medicine” discussed the many noticeable comparisons between traditional shaman healers of various cultures and the clown doctors of western medicine. The article depicted that both clown doctors and shaman healers use many similar strategies such as signing, dancing, humor and ventriloquism to make their patients emotionally stable and sound. The article also depicted that improvements in care and recovery of patients is significant and that most patients and relatives of victims find the presence of these clowns to be calming and therapeutic.

The healers in this article are the clown doctors. They have a social status similar to that of a normal working class citizen. These clown doctors use various  techniques such as dancing, toys, props, puppets and are educated in various forms of humor and entertainment so that they can distract patients from the pain and emotional trauma that comes from being chronically or terminally injured/ill. They attempt to bring a positive atmosphere to a negative situation and help to give patients a better outlook on a bad situation.

The clown doctors operate mostly in the western medical culture and in the biomedical system of healthcare. Healthcare is delivered in a very objective scientific manner, where the patient is cared for in a systematic scientific way that does not necessarily help a patients psychological or spiritual state due to the fact that they are being objectified by their caregiver. The body and symptoms in this system are treated in a cause and effect manner, where the patient is being ailed by some disease or injury and the caregivers purpose is to determine the cause and find a solution to what is ailing the patient. This system is effective but in many cases it does not contribute to full recovery as the patients emotional, psychological and spiritual needs are ignored making it as if the patient is only partially healed but left scarred from the healing process.

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