Clown Doctors in NYC

The article that I chose to reflect on was the Clown Doctors in NYC. The article describes how clowns are a major part of New York City hospitals and are similar to shaman healers of other cultures. They are similar in many fashions including dressing in crazy outfits and “mediate between chaos and non-chaos”. The actual healer in these New York City hospitals are the doctors and nurses, etc. but I believe that these clowns play a major role in their recovery processes and overall morale when it comes to their illness. The clowns let the patient not think about their illness for awhile and grasp whatever major tricks and silly noises the clowns make. The author makes a great example about how different patients act in different manners. For example, some patients are scared, some are happy, some are unsure and curious about what the clown is actually doing. The fact is that the clowns allow the patients to be scared and curious about something else besides what illness they actually have. I also think that the author managed to argue a good point about the difference between how the doctors and nurses heal the patient, and how the clown doctors heal the patient. Doctors and nurses only focus on the biological factors that play into a disease; for example, they see symptoms and they treat symptoms. The clown doctors are focuses on the human dimension of the disease. Therefore, they want to improve the overall illness experience that disease is causing for the patient. There is, indeed, a major difference between how western medicine and non-western medicine operate. However, I truly believe that both should be implemented within all hospitals considering the positive effects that both potentially have on the environment of the hospital. If the environment is not comfortable for patients to heal, then how are patients suppose to get better in today’s health systems?

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  1. Cherie Griffey says:

    The article on the Clown Doctors in NYC is quite interesting. The clowns are a major part of New York City hospitals which is quite similar to the shaman healers of other cultures. I thought to myself how in the world can hospitals utilize clowns like a healer, I know people who are terrified of clowns. I do not think that a person’s reaction to a clown determines what illness they have. I like how the clown doctors focus on the human dimension of the disease and they want to improve the overall illness experience that the disease is causing the patient, but I do not understand why it has to be a clown. Usually in today’s society a clown is supposed to be for your entertainment, not used as a healer. I do agree with your statement on the fact that both western and non-western medicine should be incorporated together for the benefit of the patiend and the hospital environment but a clown doctor is too much if you ask me. But if the clown is used as a distractor to help the patient not think of their illness and if they can distract them and bring them to a happy place I believe that that is a good thing for the patients (if they are not scared of clowns that is).

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