Patch Adams and his revolution

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Patch Adams and his revolution

Patch Adams demonstrates his

Patch Adams demonstrates his "triple threat" technique.

Patch Adams demonstrates his "triple threat" technique.

Patch Adams demonstrates his "triple threat" technique.

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Clown-doctor prescribes love instead of medicine

Patch Adams demonstrates his "triple threat" technique.

Patch Adams demonstrates his “triple threat” technique.

“Who came here for something?” Patch Adams asked the full Wool Ballroom as the Student Activities Board scrambled to turn on his microphone. His impromptu riff on the state of the union preceded any form of introduction.

“I want revolution,” Adams said. “I want a world where no one remembers what war means.” Adams claimed to be the most leftist person anyone in the room would meet and worked to prove it through the rest of the night.

Adams had a revelation at the tender age of 16: The country and the grown-up world are fake, and he couldn’t believe in his country. He attempted to commit suicide three times before he realized that the solution was not killing himself, but starting a revolution.

Adams made two decisions: To serve humanity in the medical field and to be an instrument of peace putting joy into the public space. He has been fulfilling his desire to serve humanity in the medical field as a doctor, but not in the typical way.

Adams is a free doctor. He doesn’t work for money because he believes that the one thing humans require is love. Adams stated how love is the most important thing in the world, yet neither medical school nor even grade school teaches loving or compassion.

Adams clowns and practices medicine around the world, working with orphans, victims of natural disaster, the terminally ill and more. He goes into the darkest places to try to bring love through laughter and positivity.

When he started his free Gesundheit Institute, a pilot program in 1979 based out of his home and filled with 20 patients and their family, he spent at least four hours with each of his patients and invited himself into their home to get to know them. Often patients would sleep in his and his wife’s bedroom.

“We weren’t kinky,” Adams said, jokingly, “we just didn’t turn people away.”

These methods are at the core of his revolution, a revolution that encompasses more than changing the current health care system that Adams describes as “greedy and vulgar.”

“It is inexcusable that the richest country doesn’t take care of its people,” Adams said of America’s health care system. Adams held up Cuba as an example of the best health care, where doctors go to medical school for free.  He praised Fidel Castro for offering 11,000 doctors to aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when the U.S. wouldn’t accept, as well as for delivering relief across the world for countries in need.

Adams claims that mental disorders such as depression are not truly illnesses, something many have criticized him for.  Instead, he argues that it is a symptom of loneliness. Since Adams does not believe in providing pharmaceutical medication, he treats mental issues by spending the day with the person, physically showing the happiness they could feel.

“We trick them in to having fun,” Adams said.

Change by love is his modus operandi, exemplified by his “triple threat:” a mouth expander, false teeth and a fake booger.

When he sees a negative situation he pulls out his triple threat to divert attention to laughter – or shock. Everywhere he goes, Adams wears clown clothes, his version of a super hero outfit.
His bright and goofy clothing choice is simply an extension of his goal to bring happiness into the public space.

Adams wasn’t only aiming at premedical students with his messange of changing the world.

He ended the night by inviting anyone who wanted to start a revolution to talk with him.