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

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

by Patch Adams M.D., Maureen Mylander

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620551127
Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
Publication date: 10/01/1998
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 473,884
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Patch Adams, M.D., is a social revolutionary and one-man show who believes in "horse and buggy" medicine and never charges his patients a cent! In 1971, the author and a few of his colleagues founded the Gesundheit institute in Northern Virginia. During the next twelve years, they operated a home-based family medical practice and managed to treat more than 15,000 people without payment, malpractice insurance, or formal facilities. Patch Adams continues on his life mission to achieve the goal of building a fully functioning, free health care center.

Table of Contents

Publisher's Preface


Author's Acknowledgments

Co-Author's Preface


Part I Bringing Your Vision and Joy to the Practice of Medicine

1 A Health Care System in Pain
2 An Ideal Medical Practice
3 Humor and Healing, or Why We're Building a Silly Hospital
4 Art, Nature, and Imagination
5 Rebuilding Self, Family, Community, World

Huge - What Happens to a Dream Unleashed

Part II A Prescription for Health and Healing

A Chronology of the Gesundheit Institute

6 The Pilot Period
7 The Dream Defined
8 Garth's Story, By Gareth Branwyn
9 Organizing Dreamers, by Blair Voyvodic, M.D.
10 Building the Dream
11 Living on the Land, by Kathy Blomquist
12 Light a Candle: How Can I Help?
13 Passion and Persistence
14 Five Years Have Passed

Bibliography: A Booklover's Search for Understanding and Ideas


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Gesundheit!: Bringing Good Health to You, the Medical System, and Society through Physician Service, Complementary Therapies, Humor, and Joy 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Behind Patch Adams clown nose and jokes lies a social revolutionary who has devoted his life to transforming the health care system. In his book ¿Gesundheit¿ he shares a vision of a free holistic medical practice based on faith, friendship and fun. Adams life and work even inspired the producers of Universal Studios to make a movie titled ¿Patch Adams¿ staring Robin Williams. Patch Adams is the founder of Gesundheit, a holistic home-based medical practice that managed to see more than 15,000 people without bills, malpractice insurance, formal facilities and paper work. Adams¿ vision is a wake-up call for all of us. Like Adams I became discouraged when the art of counseling and medicine was replaced by the science of business and technology. During my 20 years of working as a children¿s counselor at a Mental Health Center I witnessed how mental health and medicine, the nations number one industries today, shifted from the community to the corporate level. When the loving human interchange between a client and counselor became more a business transaction, and the paperwork not the people became the bulk of our services due to fear of litigation, I decided it was time to retire. In ¿Gesundheit¿ Adams discourages health care professionals from carrying malpractice insurance. When fear is the baseline from which to practice healing it encourages caregivers to prescribe ¿cookbook¿ treatments even when they believe them to be inadequate or potentially harmful. Fear and distrust makes physicians reluctant to explore alternate therapy and leads them to put patients through procedures and tests that are unnecessary and defensive. When professionals see patients as passive recipients of wisdom there is no room for humility or mistakes. A malpractice climate denies physicians the right to be imperfect. Third-party reimbursement is also a problem. It has diverted medicine from a service to a business and become a circus act with many hoops to jump through. Doctors tend to over-order tests and overdo procedures when patients are insured. It¿s easier to order tests than provide care or comfort. Hospital supply companies, medical technology and pharmaceutical firms have become multimillion dollar moguls of medicine. Another problem is that the professional distance ethic often leads to aloofness and arrogance. Many patients are described as diseases, lab values, or treatments. When people are called the names of their diseases other facets of the patient¿s life are neglected such as family, friends, faith, fun, work, nutrition and exercise. Life itself is bigger than illness, diagnosis, treatment and disease. When touching is taboo and getting close to clients is forbidden we loose the magic of vulnerability and trust in a relationship. Healing happens in the relationship between the healer and the patient. A healer cannot offset the pain and suffering of a client without intimacy. Healers need the freedom to cry with and hug their patients. Transference is inevitable. Every human being has some kind of impact on another. A solid relationship creates a loving, human, creative, cooperative and open environment. Privacy or confidentiality rules make intimacy difficult. Public disclosure strengthens relationships and helps develop a greater sense of support and understanding. Like 12-step programs the surrendering of privacy is the cornerstone of friendship and an antidote to loneliness. Our stories are important and listening to each other¿s stories provides the magic for healing. We are a tribal people and we need community. We need to move from the insurance of cash to the insurance of clan. Progress has become synonymous with ¿advances in technology.¿ Although modern medicine has made great strides in knowledge and technology, health care professionals are rarely vibrant with the joy of human service. Many doctors feel naked without their instruments and machines. Even though comfort, empathy, and reassurance¿so vital to a medi
MrsLee on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This man is a humanist, he does not take into account the effect of sin and our departure from God, but there is so much truth to be found in this book. It inspires one to action. To take responsibility for our own health and delight in life. It should be mandatory reading for all those involved in health care, but the ideas of humor, love and passion for life transcend into any life work. I would like to have my pastor and the deacons read it. It compels me to take a walk, call a friend and ask my doctor if I can help him to make his waiting room more fun!My only criticism would be the repetition, but he made his point.