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Patch Adams


Robin Williams & Patch Adams




The film is based on the life of a real doctor, Dr. Patch Adams, portrayed by Robin Williams, and his lifelong quest to change America's health care system. 

After considering suicide, Patch Adams advised his mother to check him into a psychiatric facility. He committed himself three times as a teenager. While there, he learned that many of the patients around him suffered from loneliness. He concluded that the key to human happiness is having loving and caring people in his life and confirmed that the best way to spread his newfound knowledge was to become a doctor. And he did.


Dr. Adams now urges medical students to develop compassionate connections with their patients. His prescription for this kind of care relies on humor and play, which he sees as essential to physical and emotional health. 

Patch and his wife Lynda have two sons, Lars and Zag. He is the founder of Gesundheit Institute.


Dr. Adams is the founder of the Gesundheit Institute, a medical center in West Virginia.  Since the 1990s Adams has supported the Ithaca Health Alliance (IHA), founded as the Ithaca Health Fund (IHF) by Paul Glover. In January 2006 IHA launched the Ithaca Free Clinic, bringing to life key aspects of Adams's vision. Adams has also given strong praise to Health Democracy, Glover's book written and published the same year. In October 2007, Adams and the Gesundheit!

The vision of Dr. Hunter 'Patch' Adams, the Gesundheit Institute is a health community spread out over 310 acres of land in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. For years there have been plans to build a 40-bed hospital on the grounds, but funding has yet to come through.


If built, the hospital/healing community would practice holistic medicine, which is an approach to medical care that focuses on the human body's ability to heal itself without the use of prescription drugs and similar over-the-counter medications. Holistic medicine encompasses acupuncture, biofeedback, faith healing, folk medicine, meditation, megavitamin therapy, yoga and other natural healing methods.

Its goal is to integrate a traditional hospital with alternative medicine, with the organization developing educational programs in sustainable systems design targeted to medical students and the general public.


Robin Williams Portraying Patch Adams


Patch Adams


Patch Adams

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