Patch Adams Inspiration

Patch Adams 1998-movie-posterLast weekend, I got a big surprise when I wasn’t expecting it.

I fell into watching the end of the movie Patch Adams as it just happened to be on tv. I’d seen Patch Adams many years ago (it was a 1998 film with Robin Williams) yet I was very surprised by how inspiring his speech was near the end of the film. Below, you can find a full transcript of the speech and two videos that cover the full length of the speech (one starts at the beginning but doesn’t go all the way to the end, and the other does the opposite).

The quotes in this speech that really resonate in my heart are;

  • If we’re going to fight a disease, let’s fight one of the most terrible diseases of all, indifference.
  • Every human being has an impact on another. Why don’t we want that in a patient doctor relationship?
  • Always live in awe of the glorious mechanism of the human body.
  • Let that be the focus of your studies and not a quest for grades which will give you no idea of what kind of doctor you’ll become.
    • schooling and learning today has definitely become too much of a “quest for grades”
  • Share their compassion. Let that be contagious.

It’s amazing how inspiration is everywhere in the world, if we just take notice of it. I would never have thought a movie like Patch Adams would inspire me, but why not? This film was based on the life of the real Patch Adams. Looking into him just a little (for example, see this page) is enough to see he’s a really inspirational man, even without the movie.

So the message for us here is to welcome the inspiration that is all around us. All of life is an inspiration. If we just take it in a little, we might just feel some of our true worth. I suspect this is more than I’m able to comprehend.

Please let me know what you think of this Patch Adam’s speech. Did you find it inspirational as well? Can you share anything similar that you find as inspiring or more inspiring? Thanks!

Patch Adams – video of first part of speech

To see the end of the speech, see this video – http://www.wingclips.com/movie-clips/patch-adams/best-doctor

Patch Adams – full transcript of speech

Well sir, I live with several people that come and go as they please and I offer them whatever help I can. … Everyone who comes to the ranch is a patient, yes. And every person who comes to the ranch is also a doctor. Every person who comes to the ranch is in need of some form of physical or mental help. They are patients. But also, every person who comes to the ranch is in charge of taking care of someone else, whether it’s cooking for them, cleaning them or even as simple a task as listening. That makes them doctors. I use that term broadly gentlemen but is not a doctor someone who helps someone else? When did the term “doctor” get treated with such reverence as, “oh! right this way Doctor Smith” or “excuse me Dr Scholls, what wonderful foot pads” or “pardon me Dr. Patterson but your flatulence has no odour”. At what point in history did a doctor become something more than a trusted and learned friend who visited and treated the ill? Now you ask me if I’ve been practising medicine. Well if this means opening your door to those in need, those in pain, caring for them, listening to them, applying a cold cloth until a fever breaks, if this is practising medicine, if this is treating a patient, then I am guilty as charged sir. [THE COMMITTEE MEMBER ASKED WHAT IF SOMEBODY HAD DIED?] What’s wrong with death sir? What are we so mortally afraid of? Why can’t we treat death with a certain amount of humanity and dignity and decency and, god forbid, maybe even humour. Death is not the enemy gentlemen. If we’re going to fight a disease, let’s fight one of the most terrible diseases of all, indifference. Now I’ve sat in your schools and heard people lecture on transference and professional distance. Transference is inevitable sir. Every human being has an impact on another. Why don’t we want that in a patient doctor relationship? That’s why I’ve listened to your teachings and I believe they’re wrong. A doctor’s mission should be not just to prevent death but also to improve the quality of life. That’s why, you treat a disease, you win you lose, you treat a person, I guarantee you win no matter what the outcome.

Now here today, this room is full of medical students. [HE TURNS TO THE STUDENTS] Don’t let them anaesthetise you. Don’t let them numb you out to the miracle of life. Always live in awe of the glorious mechanism of the human body. Let that be the focus of your studies and not a quest for grades which will give you no idea of what kind of doctor you’ll become. And don’t wait until you’re on the ward to get your humanity back. Start your interviewing skills now. Start talking to strangers, talk to your friends, talk to wrong numbers, talk to everyone. And cultivate friendship with those amazing people in the back of the room – nurses. They can teach you. They’ve been with people everyday, they wade through blood and shit. They have a wealth of knowledge to share with you. And so do the professors you respect, the ones that are not dead from the heart up. Share their compassion. Let that be contagious.

[HE TURNS BACK TO THE COMMITTEE] Sir, I want to be a doctor with all my heart. I wanted to become a doctor so I could serve others. And because of that I’ve lost everything, but I’ve also gained everything. I’ve shared the lives of patients and staff members at the hospital, I’ve laughed with them, I’ve cried with them. This is what I want to do with my life. And, as God is my witness, no matter what your decision today sir, I will still become the best damn doctor the world has ever seen.

 Patch Adams – related links

7 comments… add one
  • John B Whalen Jr Esq August 11, 2017, 5:48 pm

    Thank you for your inspiration, Peter.

    John

    Reply
    • Peter August 11, 2017, 11:54 pm

      Thanks for leaving a comment John. I’m glad you found this post useful. I really enjoyed the speech from Patch Adams, and still do.

      Peter.

      Reply
  • Nury July 3, 2018, 2:01 am

    Thank you so much for the transcription of the speech. It is being really useful for an english class.
    Greets

    Reply
    • Peter July 8, 2018, 9:55 am

      Thanks for laving a comment Nury. I didn’t imagine the transcript would be used for an English class, but I’m glad you find it useful. It’s good for people to learn English from such an inspiring and challenging speech.

      Reply
  • Nutthapat Charoenwongpanich July 21, 2018, 6:23 pm

    Thank you for the inspiration,Peter.That speech is wonderful.

    Reply
    • Peter July 21, 2018, 7:59 pm

      Hi Nutthapat. Yeah, it’s pretty good isn’t it. Not bad for a Hollywood movie.

      Reply

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