The legendary Dr. Patch Adams: The joy of caring

Accepting the invitation of the UP’s Medical School and the English-German Student Council, on the 17th of March, 2014 Dr. Patch Adams visited to Pécs.

The world-famous and inspiring doctor, writer, clown and social activist held an amazing motivational presentation in the auditorium of the Medical School, in front of hundreds of students. The speech about the importance of laughter and fun in medical education was a great success.

The power of humour and love...

Dr. Patch Adams managed easily to attract the attention of everyone from the very first moment he entered the stage. He looked more like a lovely foolish clown than a traditional doctor: long grey hair partly dyed to blue, hippie clothes and a fork hanging in one of his ears. Appearance is a way to interact with people and make them smile - he believes.
After welcoming all the students and audience present, he started his motivational speech with the disappointing statement that burnout of the medical society is an epidemic in the US.

Our nation doesn't support any kind of alternative medicine - he pointed out.
In med school there are no lessons taught on how it is being healthy; or about the vitality of life. It was told to me to spend 7,8 minutes with every patient. We have lost the idea of community in our nation, we became community animals. It is time to change and choose love and care over money. What you do in a hospital is a heroic action. As a doctor, it is your job to love. Sometimes you can't heal people, but you can always love them.

"Everything can be taken from the man but one thing: to choose who you will be!"

He couldn't stand seeing the overwhelming injustice and human discrimination. Therefore, after finishing the medical school, Dr. Adams decided to create a hospital where health care is not an alienated and greedy business. Twenty adults sharing the same perspective and their children moved together and opened a tiny communal hospital in a six-bedroom-house. Here every patient gets 4 hours of attention and a deeply personal care. It is a place where everyone lives together equally without any hints of hierarchy, as a real community. Everyone gets the same salary, because how Patch expressed: If you work with love, you'll be such a rich person anyway.

Now, after 40 years of travelling around the world and sharing his idea about medicine, Dr. Patch Adams finally seems to be financially founded to design his own hospital.

The very emotional programme contained a presentation of a photo and video gallery recorded during his trips around the world. In the last session of his speech Dr. Adams emphasized his objection to child abuse and sexual slavery.

"Clowning is a trick to let love close"

As a closure of the event the students of the UP gathered around had the chance to ask Dr. Adams any questions, no matter how private they might be. That is how spectators learnt about Patch's faith, his family, his way of thinking about clowning as a trick to let love close; and most of all about how to handle illness as a trick to get people share, to teach friendship and to show that there are other values than fancy technology.

The motivational speech was followed by long minutes of applause. We would like to thank Dr. Patch Adams and all the organizers for their efforts and coordinative work.