Patch Adams Reflection Paper

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The movie, Patch Adams, communicates an essential message about mental, emotional and physical health and exposes faults in the health system. It is essentially a film about humanity and therefore should be viewed by all teenagers and adults. While having moments of Hollywood idealism, it is largely an entertaining insight into the struggles of one man who fought the health system to bring about greater equity for all patients and higher quality care for those who need it. The movie earns a rating of 4 and a half stars as it not only entertains but also makes viewers question their own relationships and how they can make the life of those around them that little bit better. Patch shows the power of human connection and the need to find …show more content…
During one scene characters discuss their inability to be treated, due to a lack of money and not having their health care card with them, when needing assistance. One character even reveals being turned away with the fear of a ruptured appendix. The impact of their poverty was that they did not receive any medical assistance. A positive example from the movie was when the free medical centre was established; a sense of community was born. People willingly gathered to improve the physical grounds and building of the centre and in doing so improved their own emotional, mental and physical health. The movie powerfully revealed the impact social-cultural factors have on an individual as well as a community’s …show more content…
Our job is to increase health. That means improving the quality of life, not just delaying death.” Should this not be the aim of everyone, to help improve the quality of life? Patch doesn’t just want to graduate and follow the traditional methods of medicine, he wants to “brighten up a person’s day”. This is demonstrated in a variety of contexts such as a counselling session in an Institute for the Insane, a hospital ward of children where items such a bed pans, plastic gloves and an i.v. drip are used to bring joy to the patients and allowing an elderly man to “experience one last safari” using a rubber band gun and balloon animals.

3. Strengthening community action
With the opening of the free medical centre the power of community action was demonstrated. He stated ‘Everyone who comes to my home is a patient and a doctor’. In doing so he bridged the gap between these two roles announcing that both require people to care for other people. The community ties were strengthened as Patch lived by the rules of respect and valuing differences in people.
4. Developing personal skills Patch learnt that “by helping other people he could forget about his own problems”. Surely this lesson is worth everyone learning and putting into practice. It didn’t come easy to him, taking risks by opposing the political climate and “living life without limits”. Patch is exposed to many complex situations but through his persistence

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