STORIES
Health

Hunter Doherty ''Patch'' Adams

by Luis from Tampico

One of the greatest qualities of a hero is to fight for what he believes even if its against all odds. That's why my hero is Hunter Doherty "Patch" Adams because even when all the medical society was against him and they tried to prevent him from graduating from med school he overcame them and became a doctor almost being the first of his class. Patch Adams had a very troubled early life, his father was in the military and died while stationed in Germany when Patch was still a teen. When he moved back to the US, Patch suffered from bulling at school and that made him enter into deep depression. Patch attempted to commit suicide several times, being hospitalized 3 times in one year for attempts of suicide he then decided that it was no use for him to try to kill himself. That it wouldn't solve anything so he said "you don't kill yourself, you make revolution". He then decided he would become a physician and started med school at the medical college of Virginia and received his title in 1971 even after the dean tried to expel him from med school.

While he was doing his practices at the campus hospital, he realized the powerful connection between the environment and well being of patients. He believes in the health of an individual cannot be separated from the health of the family and even the community. After he graduated from med school he got together with some of his friends from college and founded the Gesundheit! Institute which ran as a free community hospital for 12 years that followed Patch's philosophy. The Gesundheit Institute Project is not over, there is a plan of making it become a free full-scale hospital and health care eco-community its goal is to integrate a traditional hospital with alternative medicine. Adams urges medical students to develop compassionate connections with their patients. His description for this kind of care relies on humor and play. For all these, his victory against depression, his becoming and excellent doctor which cares for patients, his effort to create a free hospital, and much more, he has earned the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award but most of all he has earned the title of being my hero.

Page created on 9/20/2013 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 9/20/2013 12:00:00 AM

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