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Thursday, March 30, 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.

1 Comments:

Blogger Spiritual Emergency said...

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.

Hmmm... I'm not a scientologist nor a Tom Cruise fan, but given that you're a medical student it might be helpful to consider that not everyone invests their belief in the neurochemical model as a valid explanation for all episodes of psychosis/schizophrenia.

I say as much as an individual who has gone through a schizophrenic break without any awareness that it was considered as much in this culture. As a result I did not seek medical treatment nor was I provided with any form or therapeutic medication or therapy. About a year later I stumbled upon the work of Jungian, John Weir Perry and finally had a name, a framework I could comprehend that explained to me what had happened with me.

That was four years ago. I've been working for the past three years, appear to have my wits about me, and my relationships are all stable.

So... what happened? How did I manage to become well without doctors, hospitals, medication or therapy? It is possible that I experienced a brief psychotic episode, however my positive symptoms were present for about six weeks and the negative symptoms lasted 12-18 months. Nonetheless, that would be one explanation that might fit in with the current medical model.

My own explanation however is that the lack of care is what brought about my recovery. Rather than suppress the emerging content I actively engaged it. I then lived my life very, very quietly for a few years and digested that experience.

You can dismiss all that as foolishness or quackery but the fact of the matter remains -- I recovered without any of the tools the medical model insists I needed to recover. I even recovered without Tom Cruise or Scientology, although I'm sure some extra vitamins wouldn't have hurt.

If you sincerely wish to know more you are welcome to read through my blog. If you want the shortest read possible, I suggest this entry: Mental Breakdown as Healing

Naturally, you may choose to not want to know more but you would be doing a profound disservice to any future human beings you might treat if you have not considered all the options.

12:02 PM  

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