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Patch is both a medical doctor and a clown, but he is also a social activist who has devoted 30 years to changing America's healthcare system, a system that he describes as expensive and elitist.
He believes that laughter, joy and creativity are an integral part of the healing process and therefore, true health care must incorporate those aspects of life. Doctors and patients in his model relate to each other on the basis of mutual trust and patients receive plenty of time from their doctors. Allopathic doctors and practitioners of alternative medicine will work side by side in Patch's model. Ifyou think that all sounds like a utopian impossibility, it isn't. Patch and his colleagues practiced medicine at the Gesundheit Institute together in West Virginia that way for 12 years in what Patch refers to as their "pilot project." In that time they saw 15,000 patients. From that experience onward Patch Adams has devoted his life to the study of what makes people happy.