Daily Israel Report

"One of the Biggest Israeli Exports will be Medical Clowning"

The International Conference on Medicine and Medical Clowning shows that medical clowns are just as important as doctors.
By Elad Benari & Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 10/26/2011, 4:10 AM

The International Conference on Medicine and Medical Clowning is currently taking place in Jerusalem.

The goal of the conference, organized by Dream Doctors, is to attempt to touch upon major issues involved in the process of forming clear professional definitions of Medical Clowning from viewpoints of different groups and people all over the world. The conference comprises various workshops on clowning and the use of medical clowning as a unique means of intervention.

“I’m learning that we are definitely a part of a very big, global community,” Wellington Santos, a medical clown from Brazil, told Arutz Sheva. “It’s very important that we all cooperate to take this to the next step.”

Paul Miller, AKA Pauly the Clown who works at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, said that despite his hospital being in third place as far as pediatric institutions are concerned, it only has a few medical clowns who work a few hours a week. He noted he was surprised to see how big and important Medical Clowning is in Israel.

“I think medical clowns will be one of the biggest Israeli exports,” he said. “It’s amazing.”

Hagar Hofesh, a medical clown with Dream Doctors, said that in Israel, the clowns work very closely with doctors and nurses, something which is not the case in other parts of the world. She added that she believes that other places in the world could learn from Israel when it comes to this field.

“There are parts of the world where the experiences are the same as in Israel, but we also heard some clowns say that when the doctor comes into the room, they leave, or that they would not participate in certain procedures,” she added.

“Today, I actually got to scrub in and escort kids to the operating theater,” Miller said. “And we don’t do that in the United States, so it was fascinating.”