Clown Doctors

I chose Clown Doctors because I have children myself and also one of my best friend’s is a pediatrician. I found this article to be quite interesting with the research provided. I personally do not like clowns and before I read the article, I couldn’t understand how patients or parents would like the goofiness that clowns bring along but I will say I was wrong and pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

 

This article is based on “Clown Doctors.” These “doctors” being studied belong to the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit in New York City hospitals. It is a group of professional clowns that spend their days trying to relieve the stress, pain, anxiety and doubt that child patients have. Many of these patients have life altering and possibly life ending prognosis and the clowns are there, not to heal, but to change their outlook, even if just for a little bit. The CCU Interestingly holds a similar resemblance to the shamans of non-Western societies due to their practices to ensure psychological healing.  These psychological healers rehearse the perfect approach for both the patients and their parents to ensure a certain kind of reaction.

 

The hospital staff likes these healers, the doctors and nurses are thankful for them. The CCU knows their boundaries and appreciates the severity of the situation these children are in. They use traditional doctor attire like lab coats, stethoscope and syringes but not in the intended way. They use these as props to get laughter. They include puppets and scarves. These clowns have direct contact with the patients and their parents. They go into the waiting rooms and the patients’ rooms to cheer them up. It was mentioned in the article that one of their tactics was to let the sick patient shoot his/her sibling(s) with a water gun. This would let the child feel that they are in control and maybe not have resentment towards them for being healthy and not being sick like the patient.

 

The CCU believes that body and mind both have to be healthy to have a healthy life. They recognize that there needs to be an integration of mental health along with physical health. These “doctors” are doing just that. The combination of additive medicine into our advanced medical world has become more mainstream in our country. These clowns are just another step in that direction.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Alison Johnson says:

    I chose the post about “Clown Doctors” to elaborate on. They compare to biomedical doctors in their attire, besides the clown make up of course. They wear the same lab coats as regular doctors, and have the same medical instruments such as stethoscopes and syringes. These clown doctors go through and interact with their patients just as biomedical doctors do, though they focus more on the psychological aspect of healing. They try to create healthy, positive environments for patients that may be suffering severely. The tools they have such as syringes are used as funny props when interacting with their patients. Clown doctors do seem legitimate. They try and lift the spirits of their patients, and in turn make their experiences much more enjoyable. I can imagine that having happier and more cooperative patients only helps the biomedical doctors and nurses when it comes to them interacting with each other. In my opinion, these clown doctors compare more to shamans than biomedical doctors. Both shamans and the clown doctors focus significantly more on the psychological effects that a person deals with rather than physical symptoms such as a biomedical doctor would. When it comes to working with especially sick individuals, their outlook and psyche are crucial.

  2. Mohkam Singh says:

    The clown doctors are a great way for hospitals to list the spirits of their ill patients. Hospitals in general are extremely depressing and patients, especially younger children, can experience a lot of mental agony while they are there. I remember when my younger cousin was diagnosed with type one diabetes how difficult and uneasy the hospital made him feel (he was only 10 or 11). The clowns mimic the attire of physicians in the hospital and have much of the same equipment that they use as props to lift morals in the hospital. Instead of healing an individual’s ailments like a biomedical doctor, these clown doctors use the power of comedy to help individuals cope with their sicknesses. I want to be a pediatrician and I wholeheartedly believe that laughter is the best medicine for children and adults. Not only does an individual feel better, they also are more willing to work with the biomedical doctors. This can help speed up their time of recovery and make their hospital stay a lot less sad. Hospitals are a scary place for most of us. The presence of needles and machines can really make someone uneasy. These clown doctors are a legitimate source of healing through laughter as medicine.

  3. Natasha Mehta says:

    The concept of having “clown doctors” in these hospitals is really interesting. From what I have read, I think it is a really smart way to get children to feel better about their circumstances. I believe mental health is extremely important, if not more so than your physical health. Numerous studies have been done that show that people who are happier, less stressed, and all around in a better state of mind have better chances at surviving illnesses than those who are not. Compared to medical doctors, they obviously don’t have the same set of skills to actually treat patients’ illnesses, yet what they are doing is still very important, and are an asset to the children’s hospital staff. I find it interesting that you compared the clown doctors to the shamans of other cultures. While I agree that they both focus on psychological healing, the shamans are religious spiritual healers, whereas the clown doctors seem to be more of a distraction (in a positive sense) to the patients. The goal of the shamans is to ward off evil in order for the person to heal, whereas the clown doctors are there to help make the children feel better. While different, they are both important.

  4. Natasha Mehta says:

    The concept of having “clown doctors” in these hospitals is really interesting. From what I have read, I think it is a really smart way to get children to feel better about their circumstances. I believe mental health is extremely important, if not more so than your physical health. Numerous studies have been done that show that people who are happier, less stressed, and all around in a better state of mind have better chances at surviving illnesses than those who are not. Compared to medical doctors, they obviously don’t have the same set of skills to actually treat patients’ illnesses, yet what they are doing is still very important, and are an asset to the children’s hospital staff. I find it interesting that you compared the clown doctors to the shamans of other cultures. While I agree that they both focus on psychological healing, the shamans are religious spiritual healers, whereas the clown doctors seem to be more of a distraction (in a positive sense) to the patients. The goal of the shamans is to ward off evil in order for the person to heal, whereas the clown doctors are there to help make the children feel better. While different, they are both important.

  5. Widad Nasser says:

    I like the idea of “Clown Doctors” in the hospital. It gives the patients a more confortable environment and less of the tense atmosphere we are used to at the hospitals. These “Clown Doctors” dress similar to the biomedical doctors; they wear their coats and their stethoscopes. They look just biomedical doctors but with clown face paint. They also interact with patients the same way biomedical doctors do, however, they focus more on the psychiatric healing than the biomedical healing. This helps the patients fell better about themselves and gets their mind off of the main reason they are in the hospital. The “Clown Doctors” to me are more important because the healing of the mind is the bases to almost all disease. With a healthy mind, you will eventually have a healthy body. This can help the doctors and nurses with the treatment of the patients. Putting them in a comfortable environment and easing their treatment and possibly healing them quicker. There should be more healthcare centers like this in the U.S. Especially in pediatric care, so that the children won’t be scared to go to the Doctor. It makes it more fun for the children or even adults, and with the help of the “Clown Doctors” they will be happy and treated.

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