The Clown Doctors in NYC article was quite interesting. Clown doctors in pediatric wards in NYC hospitals aided in spiritual healing among the children and families there. While they don’t actually do any of the work a physician would do like surgeries or treatments they are arguably just as important to the healing process. The clowns use a variety of techniques they have rehearsed for various situations. Puppets, ventriloquism, sleight of hand and other ‘magic’ tricks, as well as using symbols of the societies’ medical systems to manipulate the power of suggestion or the placebo effect. Most if not all of the tricks performed are rehearsed to make it appear that the clown is the incompetent one and the butt of the joke will always fall on the clown never anyone in the room. The tricks are designed to make the clowns seem silly and that the child is in charge.
The clown doctors worked along side trained physicians in a seemingly normal hospital setting. Granted it was the pediatric ward and i’m sure there were some pretty awful things that were seen but it’s also why it seemed to have the most success. The clown doctors would always try to display anti-cultural norms for the hospital settings. They would be loud and boisterous in a quiet , solemn, waiting room or be goofing around making faces behind the physician. All attempts to break the normal, dreary, feeling one would experience in that setting and uplift the spirits of those around. The article explained how children are far more susceptible to the notion of “magic” or how a clown doctor could “squeak” away the pain before or after a procedure. They could make the child laugh and essentially forget about the pain. In this healthcare setting the clown doctors are used to try to enhance the efficacy of biomedicines by aiding in the mental and spiritual healing.