Patch Adams Shares Vision of Health Care with NCNM


Marilynn Considine

PORTLAND, Ore. (Feb. 10, 2009)—National College of Natural Medicine President David J. Schleich, PhD, announced today that Patch Adams, MD, social activist and professional clown, will present his unique and compassionate model of health care on Feb. 22 to students and faculty of National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) and Oregon Health & Science University on the NCNM campus.

“Patch Adams,” the 1998 hit film starring Robin Williams, was inspired by Dr. Adams’ unconventional approach to medicine. His medical philosophy incorporates compassionate care-giving through deeper physician-patient interaction, humor and play.

Dr. Schleich notes that Dr. Adams’ message and model of compassionate care for the whole person resonates deeply with the principles and practices of natural medicine. Dr. Schleich said, “For more nearly 40 years, Patch Adams has advocated for change to the system of health care delivery in the U.S. A true visionary, he has dedicated his life to the creation of a more holistic, caring approach in treating patients. We share his belief that the time is ripe for a sea change in health care. We’re honored to have him join us at NCNM.”

Patch Adams is the founder of the Gesundheit! Institute, a holistic medical community based on the interconnections among the health of the individual, the community and society. Dr. Adams is also the author of the book Gedsundheit!, which chronicles his ideas about the U.S. health care system, and House Calls, a guide to care-giving.

ABOUT NCNM: Founded in 1956, NCNM is the oldest accredited naturopathic medical school in North America. A nonprofit college of natural medicine, NCNM offers four-year degree programs in Naturopathic Medicine and Classical Chinese Medicine. Its teaching clinics offer free and low-cost medical care throughout the Portland metropolitan area, with approximately 40,000 patient visits per year. NCNM’s Helfgott Research Institute is a nonprofit research institute that conducts rigorous independent research to advance the science of natural medicine in order to improve clinical practice.