Analysis of The Movie "Patch Adams" using Communication Models.

1947 Words Jan 20th, 2004 8 Pages
The analysis of the movie Patch Adams: Is humor the best medicine?

Patch Adams is a movie that is based on a true story. It is about a man who has experienced many things in his lifetime, from being institutionalized in a psychiatric ward of a hospital to being a well-respected doctor that heals and calms many people with humor. This movie portrays many aspects of health communication that we have discussed in this class, and it also accurately represents one of the debates currently taking place in the health communication field. In this paper I will review past terms and models such as: physician-centered communication, collaborative communication, and the biopsychosocial model. These terms will be used to help demonstrate that the
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Sometimes physicians go so far as to make patients feel belittled and helpless. Patients, in turn, are relatively passive and accommodating, at least while they are with their doctors"(du Pre 53).

While examining the interpersonal interactions between doctors and patients it is clear that doctors completely control the talk time. Doctors ask a lot of "yes" or "no" answered questions, not allowing the patient to express very much emotional information. This is one of the ways that doctors, in this type of environment, try to stay emotionally detached from patients. An example of this can also be found in the movie when all the experienced doctors only refer to patients as their certain illnesses. These doctors feel that names, emotions, hobbies, etc. are just distractions that get in the way of their professional duties.

In recent times, in the field of health communication, a shift in beliefs has become apparent. Many feel that the physician-centered approach is no longer the best way to manage the interaction between patients and doctors. A new collaborative approach has been adopted by many. This collaborative approach is more of a partnership between the patient and doctor. More communicating by the patient, and more listening by the doctor. When the doctor and patient speak to one another, they speak to each other as peers sharing ideas,
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