Adams had a difficult childhood. His father, an officer in the United States Army, had fought in Korea, and died while stationed in Germany when Adams was still a teenager. After his father’s death, Adams returned to the United States with his mother and brother. Upon his return, Adams has stated that he encountered institutional injustice which made him a target for bullies at school. As a result, Adams was unhappy and became actively suicidal. After being hospitalized three times in one year for wanting to end his life, he decided “you don’t kill yourself, stupid; you make revolution. ” Early career
After graduating (1963) from Wakefield High School Adams completed pre-med coursework at the George Washington University. He began medical school without an undergraduate degree, and earned his Doctor of Medicine degree at Virginia Commonwealth University (Medical College of Virginia) in 1971. In the late 1960s one of his closest friends (a man, not a woman as depicted in the Patch Adamsfilm) was murdered. Convinced of the powerful connection between environment and wellness, he believes the health of an individual cannot be separated from the health of the family, community, and the world.
Patch Adams Essay Example
While working in an adolescent clinic at MCV, in his final year of med school, he met Linda Edquist, a fellow VCU student who volunteered in the clinic. Soon after graduation, Patch, Linda, and friends founded the Gesundheit! Institute (originally known to many as the Zanies), which ran as a free community hospital for 12 years.
Institute, envisioned as a free, full-scale hospital and health care eco-community, is planned on 316 acres (128 ha) in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. Its goal is to integrate a traditional hospital with alternative medicine, with the organization developing educational programs in sustainable systems design targeted to medical students and the general public. Since the 1990s Adams has supported the Ithaca Health Alliance (IHA), founded as the Ithaca Health Fund (IHF) by Paul Glover. In January 2006 IHA launched the Ithaca Free Clinic, bringing to life key aspects of Adams’ vision.
Adams has also given strong praise to Health Democracy, Glover’s book written and published the same year. In October 2007, Adams and the Gesundheit Board unveiled its campaign to raise $1 million towards building a Teaching Center and Clinic on its land in West Virginia. The Center and Clinic will enable Gesundheit to see patients and teach health care design. Adams urges medical students to develop compassionate connections with their patients. His prescription for this kind of care relies on humor and play, which he sees as essential to physical and emotional health.
Ultimately, Adams wants theGesundheit! Institute to open a 40-bed hospital in rural West Virginia that offers free, holistic care to anyone who wants it. Adams was awarded the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award on January 29, 1997. In 2008, Adams agreed to become honorary chair of the “International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment” or IAACM. In a number of his speeches and essays, Martin Luther King, Jr. had called for such an IAACM, but none was ever created. MindFreedom International, a nonprofit coalition that Gesundheit! elongs to as a sponsor group, launched the IAACM to support “creative maladjustment” and social change.
Adams has criticized the film, saying it eschewed an accurate representation of his beliefs in favor of commercial viability. He said that out of all aspects of his life and activism, the film portrayed him merely as a funny doctor. 9] Patch Adams also said of Robin Williams in an interview, “He made $21 million for four months of pretending to be me, in a very simplistic version, and did not give $10 to my free hospital. Patch Adams, the person, would have, if I had Robin’s money, given all $21 million to a free hospital in a country where 80 million cannot get care. ” However, in another interview, Adams did clarify that he did not dislike Williams and Williams has actively supported St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for several years. As a speaker, Dr. Adams travels around the globe lecturing about his medicine methods.