Patch Adams - Movie Reflection

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Patch Adams is a great movie to use with students who are involved in service experiences or learning about social justice. Reflection questions are included in this resource that works well with students!
Patch Adams is a great movie to use with students! It is the fact-based story of Hunter "Patch" Adams, the founder of the Gesundheit Clinic. Robin Williams plays the lead character with grace and skill. Synopsis: After spending some time in a mental ward, Hunter Adams discovers that he enjoys helping other patients. He finds the staff to be cold, impersonal, and not involved with the patients, so he decides to change things and enrolls at the Virginia Medical College, where his unorthodox methods pit him against many of the more traditional doctors and deans. However, Hunter has a high class rank. He recognizes the plight of the poor, who were not getting proper treatment at the hospital, and forms the Gesundheit Clinic for them. This brings up more issues with the medical review board and medical licensing.

The film is rated PG-13 for some strong language and crude humor. The movie runs 115 minutes and is available on video. Discussion and Reflection Questions: What made Patch realize that he wanted to have a career where he could serve others? Describe Patch's approach to treating patients. How is his approach different from some of his professors and peers? What gifts did Patch have that he shared with his patients and friends? How does Patch live out the "circle-of-faith-in-action": awareness, analysis, action? What injustices does Patch see in medical treatments and institutions? How does Patch decide to change the system? Tell how each of the seven themes of Catholic social teaching can be found in the movie: life and dignity of the human person participation: the call to family and community rights and responsibilities the option for the poor and vulnerable dignity of work and the rights of workers solidarity care for God's creation How would you summarize Patch's philosophy on vocation and service? How did Patch specifically make a difference and touch people's lives? How can this movie serve as an impetus for you to make a difference in the world?


Published April 20, 2001.