Free «Patch Adams» Essay Sample

The major focus of this paper is the critical analysis of two lessons learnt from this movie. Before touching on the lessons learnt from this movie it is of analysis of the movie itself is of great importance. Hence the first part of the paper will be deal with movie analysis and then two lessons learnt.

Patch Adams which is directed by Tom Shadyac and featuring Robin Williams is 1998 comedy-drama film based on Hunter “Patch” Adams’ real life story and Mylander and Adams’ book Gesundheit. The movie basically is about a medical doctor (Robin Williams) who portrays Hunter “Patch” Adams, who became famous for employing unique approach to medicine. Adams was forced to seek for help from a psychiatric after attempted suicide following his father’s death. He was consequently institutionalized. The experiences he went through during this period inspired him to become a medical doctor and also enabled him to understand one can become happy by helping others.



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After two years he enrolled in a medical as the oldest student in first year. The school he enrolled in was Virginia medical school. After questioning the approach employed by school for medical care and his stand that there was need for interaction with patients that is personal, he finds himself colliding with the Dean of the school Walcott (Bob Gunton). Following these disagreements and other incidences he was suspended from the medical school but was later recalled.

After reinstatement, he builds up a close relationship with another student in his class, Carin Fisher (Monica Potter) and puts forward the idea of clinic on the basis patient-doctor interaction. With the financial support from one of Adams’ colleagues in the mental institution he was able to buy one hundred and five acres of land for the construction of the Gesundheit institute in West Virginia. With the help of other fellow students; Truman Schiff (Daniel London) and Carin and some of Adam’s old friends, they were to repair an old cottage. After putting everything in order they started treating patients despite of the fact they had no medical insurance. Patch’s role was mainly performance of minor sketches of comedy.

After his dismal from the medical school for the second round for practicing medicine and running a clinic without insurance, Adams files a petition, at Mitch Roman (Hoffman), former medical school roommate’s advice with the medical board of the state. After convincing the jury that what he was doing was good the jury allowed to graduate and at the same time continue with his medical practices.

The movie has fascinating scenery and a lot of vital lessons to be learnt. Patch portrays a picture of humanity and the power of laughter or positive attitude in improving the health status of individuals. There are various lessons that I have learnt from this film: one of them is that the future is more important than the past. This lesson is portrayed when an innovator who was famous was sent by people to an asylum after thinking that he was mad. Due to his innovative mind, he came up with a very important theory that if we have to see the future, we have forget our past problems and that we should be sad because of obstacles in front of us. This is where he moves showing people his four fingers and asking them what they were seeing. Those who give for as the answer their focus was on their matters. According to him, there were more than four fingers by which he meant that there was more than one way of dealing with problems or issues. Lesson learnt here is that we should be optimistic, smart and innovative when dealing with our problems.

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On fooling around the hospital, Patch felt that the patients were suffering not only from sickness but from despair and dullness. He also felt the patients lacked respect from their doctors and that they were being taken through inhuman conditions. Hence he felt that there was a better way to treat these patients a part from the conventional approaches. Consequently he decided to be a volunteer in the hospital whose main job was to entertain patients.

He was of the opinion that the conventional approaches did not meet patient’s basic needs like happiness but on the contrary they inflicted patients with more pain. He likened the treatment of patients to that of laboratory animals.

Another important lesson learnt from this movie is that people should learn to understand, accommodate and respect other people’s view. Other people are also humans like us and hence we should learn listen to them before any judgments. We should try to put ourselves in the other individual’s shoes, understand undergo the same experiences as they have undergone. The medical never took their time to understand patch is point of view before making any decision. The Dean of the medical school decided to suspend Patch for questioning the approaches employed by the medical school and also trying to championing alternative ways to treat patients. The medical school never wanted to Patch to graduate after his second suspicion from the medical for operating a clinic and practicing medicine without a license with some of his fellow colleagues. Unlike the medical school, the jury did listen to patch’s views, analyzed them after which then allowed him to graduate and continue with his medical practices. This is a good example of fact that we need to listen everybody views without bias so that we can be in the position of making informed decisions.

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Had he not persisted with his dream despite all the obstacles on his way, Patch would not have set up the Gesundheit Institute Hospital. His suspicion from the medical school twice did not stop him from fighting for his course. And were it not for the open-mindedness of the jury, Patch’s dream would not have been realized.


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