Israel offers the world’s first-ever academic program for medical clowns, at Haifa University.
A doctor at Tel Aviv’s Tel Hashomer Hospital says that when the medical clowns arrive at the Pediatric Intensive Care ward the kids start smiling and their fever drops.
Medical clowns are assisting patients and families in more and more hospitals around the world. However, until now their training was a combination of seminars and common sense. This year, after a successful pilot, the University of Haifa, in collaboration with the Magi Foundation is opening a first-in-the-world, three-year academic program for medical clowns, also known as Dream Doctors.
Research has shown that medical clowns relieve stress and lift the spirits of patients, families and even hospital staff, creating an environment that facilitates treatment and can improve prognosis.
The Magi Foundation pioneered the inclusion of medical clowns in hospital treatment programs and today they provide services in 16 Israeli hospitals. Hospital staff have nothing but praise for their involvement and note the difference their work makes. “When you’re happy, you have better results,” says a doctor at Tel Hashomer.