In Clown Doctors in NYC it introduces a specialized division, the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit in the New York City hospitals network of clowns who visit patients that are admitted and their attempt to relieve some of the stress of being sick. New York started this program in 1986 and was created by Michael Christensen who saw the usefulness and the need for such services for the children, their parents and the staff.
As I quote the equipment used by one of the staff “Dr. Winona Do-More checks her hospital badge, white coat (with red heart on the sleeve), glasses, makeup (including red nose), oxygen tubing (worn twisted around her head), and bag of medical instruments (kazoo, bells, whistles, and other noisemakers).” They usually tem up with two or three and visit ER’s , waiting rooms and many other parts of the hospital where people are looking sad and gloomy and could use a little smile and happiness from the sadness that brought them to the hospital in the first place. Using magic, sleight of hand and just tom foolery they help take the edge off the pain of small children, adults and the staff at these locations.
Although they are not medical doctors the services they provide are just as useful. They don’t heal the physical ailments of the patients, but they do take their mind off of them, making the mental strain a little less than it was before the clowns got there. No they are not actually doctors of anything except laughter and relaxation. The results of the clown doctors has been outstanding so much that the program went from two clowns serving seven hospitals to thirty five serving the seven medical locations throughout the city. The model has been so popular that many others have tried to duplicate it for their needs as well.