Patch Adams Profile

  • Bestselling author of Gesundheit! and House Calls: How We Can All Heal the World One Visit at a Time.

  • Founder of The Gesundheit Institute, a non-profit healthcare organization whose mission is to reframe and reclaim the concept of ‘hospital’.

  • A world-renowned innovator with an engaging style and approach to healthcare, healing, self love, and happiness.
  • The real-life inspiration behind the massive Hollywood hit of the same name, Patch Adams M.D. is known all around the world as a healthcare professional, social activist and hilarious entertainer. For more than four decades he has been promoting his philosophy that the best healthcare needs laughter, joy and creativity to be an integral element for successful healing.

    Patch has a vision of a healthcare system in which patients get all the time they need from their doctors and the two interact on a basis of mutual trust. He believes that conventional and alternative therapies should be blended into one holistic healing process, delivered with joy. This philosophy is delivered with resounding success at the Gesundheit Institute in West Virginia, and Patch aims to see it rolled out across the USA and around the world.

    The success of the Gesundheit Institute has led to plans for a model healthcare facility to be built on a 310 acre site in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. In recent years Patch has temporarily stopped practicing medicine in order to raise funds for this revolutionary project, which will include a 40 bed hospital, theater, arts and crafts shops, horticultural projects and vocational therapy. Five million dollars are needed to fulfill this dream; by inviting Patch to speak you are not only guaranteed a hilarious and thought-provoking evening but you are also investing in one of the most exciting healthcare projects in the world.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      Patch Adams, M.D., is an internationally known speaker on wellness, humor, and joy. He approaches the issues of personal, community, and global health with “zestful exuberance,” according to Time Magazine. Dr. Adams believes that “the most revolutionary act one can commit in our world is to be happy.”

      “Extraordinary! A man I can look up to and respect,” “Incredibly mind blowing and memorable,” and “Inspiring, amazing human being- invaluable to hear first- hand,” are all testimonies of people who have had the chance to hear Dr. Patch Adams, the real man behind the hit Hollywood film Patch Adams.

      Patch is a medical doctor, a clown, and a social activist who has devoted 30 years to changing America’s healthcare system. He believes that laughter, joy and creativity are integral parts of the healing process. 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 work side by side in Patch’s model. If you think that all sounds like a utopian impossibility, it isn’t! Patch and his colleagues have practiced medicine at the Gesundheit Institute together in West Virginia that way for 43 years in what Patch refers to as their “pilot project.

      Through the success of this program at the West Virginia location, a model health care facility is being planned on 310 acres purchased in Pocahontas County, WV. The Institute will include a 40-bed hospital, a theater, arts and crafts shops, horticulture and vocational therapy. Over five years ago, Dr. Adams temporarily stopped seeing patients so that he could coordinate plans for raising the $5 million needed for the Institute’s permanent and expanded home, a “model health care community.” When you bring Patch to speak, you’re supporting this dream!

    Patch Adams Speaking Videos

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    Patch Adams's Speech Descriptions

    “The most revolutionary act one can commit in our world is to be happy.” Patch Adams brings this philosophy to everything he does, and particularly his speaking appearances. His performances are part lecture, part workshop and part pure clowning.

    Patch’s aim is to demonstrate that it is possible to make a positive choice to bring joy into your life. He talks of the thrill of choosing to live with joy and to help others; he explains to those caregivers who may be feeling burnt out or disillusioned that there is a magic and power in care-giving that they can access.

    In other talks Patch looks at the relationship between humor and health, strategies you can employ to love yourself, the planet and your fellow humans and the concept of using humor as a positive healing force in medicine. Whatever the topic on which you invite Patch to speak, you can be guaranteed profound insights, exciting and inspiring new ideas and, naturally, a stunning, laughter-filled performance.

    Living A Life of Joy
    (1-4 hours)
    Lecture or thee-four hour workshop using an hour of exercises, an hour of ideas on being happy and the remainder to explore the audacious idea of living happy. Patch discusses how to discover the incredible thrill of choosing to live everyday with joy. The focus of this lecture/workshop is life as a choice.

    The Joy of Caring
    (1-3 hours)

    Lecture on the thrill of helping others. An inspirational talk with much dialogue to explore burnout prevention for caregivers. The focus of this lecture/workshop is the magic and power of care, not only in the patient’s life but also in the caregiver’s life.

    Humor and Health
    (1-3 hours)
    Look at the relationship between humor and the health of the individual, community or society. Funny and inspirational. Patch discusses his 30+ years of clowning experience. When Patch and Susan are hired as a team, they teach the audience performance and perform a sweet stage clown show (15 minutes at the end).

    What Is Your Love Strategy?
    (1-3 hours)
    Lecture on the importance of having a strategy for loving yourself, the planet and others. Patch provides insights into the need for such a strategy and also takes a close look at the conception of love and the theory of strategy. Patch offers his approach and helps the audience design, explore and implement their own love strategy.

    Living In Community
    (1 hour)
    Lecture that introduces a healthy community life. Patch explores what constitutes a healthy community, how one is created, maintained and what the responsibilities are of it’s members.

    Medicine For Fun, Not Funds
    (1-3 hours)
    Lecture on the history, philosophy, and future of the Gesundheit Institute. It includes a deep dialogue with audience/participants. Patch introduces Gesundheit as an example of medicine for fun, not funds and helps the audience design, explore and implement their own dreams.

    What People are Saying about Seeing Patch Speak

    Rating Entries

    I was disappointed. His talk was disorganized as he rambled about things that bothered him. Many who attended the conference said they have seen him speak before, and that this presentation was much different. So, I’m not sure what happened this time!


    “It was great to have Patch with us at the conference. Everyone loved him and his
    views on life.”


    “It was awesome! Maravilloso! Hermoso!”

    NOVEMBER 2013—

    “All went well with Patch! It was a pleasure for me to work with you and to meet
    Patch. I´m thinking of having Patch again next year!”


    “I’m so grateful that Patch was able to attend and speak at the conference. It was a
    wonderful night and I’m so happy that this first integrative health conference was
    such a success. I’m so thankful that Patch was the keynote kickoff to my first


    “We were delighted with our time with Patch, and the delegates he presented to were
    rapt with attention and inspired. It was a very successful event from all aspects, and
    we greatly appreciate having Patch with us.”


    “Patch Adams extended himself in his free talk when he realized that all the people
    there were really with him and felt uplifted by his presentation. He was funny and
    emotive and charismatic. I got a lot of really good feed back from the attendees and
    staff about him.”


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    Books by Patch Adams:

    Gesundheit!: Bringing Good Health to You, the Medical System, and Society through Physician Service, Complementary Therapies, Humor, and Joy

    The inspiring and hilarious story of Patch Adams’s quest to bring free health care to the world and to transform the way doctors practice medicine. Gesundheit! tells the story of Patch Adams’ lifetime quest to transform the health care system. It was popularly released as a film from Universal Pictures, starring Robin Williams.

    House Calls: How We Can All Heal the World One Visit at a Time

    Dr. Patch Adams knows the inner side of healing. House Calls is a reminder that some of the most important factors in healing are not high-tech marvels but ordinary factors such as love, compassion, friendship, and hope. This book will lighten anyone′s heart and assist him or her on a healing journey.

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