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Thursday, March 30th 2006

Patch Adams

My school hired Patch Adams to come and speak today. It was packed. I admire what he does, but despite his own touting of his intellectual prowess I think his personal philosophy is kind’ve primitive and hypocritical.

He’s a radical, a socialistic and a holist. While he may not use those labels himself I don’t think he’d have a problem with them. He has a bit of an ego himself as well.

He doesn’t believe in psychiatry. He refuses to recognize or treat even dementia/break disorders such as schizophrenia. Maybe he should hook up with Tom Cruise and they can discuss the curative properties of vitamins in these cases.

Being an idealist isn’t a bad thing but I am a little bit troubled by how much Patch thought he understood the world. He was very proud of the thousands of applications he’s gotten from physicians who want to come work at the hospital he’s building in West Virginia for $300/month. He should be. But later during the Q & A session to cite that as proof that it is a feasible way healthcare can be fixed – all doctors working for free that is – may be noble, but certainly isn’t accurate or reasonable.

He puts great weight in the whole body. I kind’ve do as well, but Patch has gone off the road a bit as we might imagine, ignoring science it seems in favor of other methods.

His distaste for money was rampant. His distaste for film and television was as well, along with sports (that was a big one). Wastes of time; all of them. He admitted he’d had to abandon his plan of never seeking money to fuel his agenda, after about twelve years of working out of a house with several other physicians (all the physicians and their families along with the patients lived there). So he started seeking fame and funds for his institute.

One of the ways he does this is by profiting from a form of entertainment he thinks lowers our community intelligence. He told us everyone should turn off their televisions forever even as the movie ‘Patch Adams’ is probably playing on some channel. That is money for a clown trip to Cambodia or to pay for a bone marrow transplant for some child.

He’s done some wonderful work but anyone going into the 21st century ranting against capitalism (and he certainly did) is just so far out in left field that its difficult to take them seriously. But maybe that is part of his gig…he is a clown.