I chose to reflect on the article Clown Doctors: Shaman Healers of Western Medicine, which talks about the primary role is of a clown doctor in New York City who work in different pediatric hospital units. In this particular article, the healers are the clown doctors. These clown doctors are not considered to be licensed physicians, however they generally work in teams and help give advice to the phyisicans that provide the actual healthcare. The clown doctors look very similar to actual doctors because they wear a costume that consists of a white coat. These clown doctors may appear to be a normal physician to a patient in the hospital, but their role is very unique. They will do random acts and performances in the hospital such as singing soft lullabies, blowing bubbles, and even telling jokes to teenage patients. Upon entering a patient’s room, they check with other staff members in the hospital to make sure that the patient’s room is not off-limits and if the patient does not have a positive reaction to the clown doctors performance, they will move onto the next room. The primary role of these clown doctors is to try and distract the patient as much as possible as they are going through a difficult time in the hospital. This allows the patient to feel removed from the situation and can provide them with a sense of comfort. One of the clown doctors told a story of a time where they distracting a young and distraught patient by doing magic tricks, blowing bubbles, and dancing in the patient’s room to make them feel more comfortable.
The system/sector that clown doctors operate in is the folk sector. These “doctors” are not providing any actual direct-patient care, however they take into account the patient’s entire family and situation in a holistic view. The main purpose of these clown doctors is to help the individual feel more comfortable around someone in a white coat and helps them feel like they can relate to them more. The clown doctors make their decision on how to go about performing their job as soon as they enter the room by understanding the gravity of the patient’s situation, and doing their job in whichever way is most suitable for the patient and their family.