"Incredibly inspiring," "an amazing human being," and "invaluable to hear him first hand," are among the words heard from participants after experiencing Patch Adams, M.D., the real man behind the hit movie starring Robin Williams. Adams is a social revolutionary who has devoted his life to changing America's healthcare system. Medical doctor, clown, man of many hats, Adams is the founder of the Gesundheit Institute, a home-based medical practice in West Virginia that has treated more than 15,000 people for free. 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.
Whether it means putting on a red clown nose for sick children or taking a disturbed patient outside to roll down a hill with him, Adams does whatever is necessary to help heal. In his frequent lectures and performances, Adams's irrepressible energy cuts through the businesslike facade of the medical industry to address how the need for a caring relationship between doctor and patient is at the heart of true medicine.