President's Lecture Series


Dr. Patch Adams: "Passion and Persistence: Following Your Dream"


Patch Adams

Document Type

Metadata Only




Athletic Administration Building - Gymnasium

Lecture Series

President's Lecture Series; Jacobson/Wallenberg Humanitarian Speaker


Criticized in his official medical school record for "excessive happiness," Adams combined different sides of his personality to become a physician and a clown. Inspired to become a doctor while institutionalized for depression as a teenager, he is known to dress like a gorilla or fill a room full of balloons to elicit a smile, a spiritual connection or simple moment of pleasure from a patient.

After completing his undergraduate work at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Adams received his M.D. from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond and returned to D.C. for a pediatric residency at Georgetown University. In 1971, he founded the Gesundheit! Institute, a holistic health care community where humor, joy of service, creative arts and various healing traditions are integrated for patient treatment.

A professional clown since 1965, Adams has lectured around the world on humor, health care, wellness, creativity, clowning and poetry. He was the 1997 recipient of the Courage of Conscience Award.

Media Type


Run Time

77:00 min


A 1/2" VHS copy of this lecture is available in the Special Collections & University Archives Department of Old Dominion University Perry Library. Call #: LD4331.A57 1999d

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