Haifa hosts first international medical clowning seminar

Red-nosed professionals are now in Israel to explore new methods and approaches at the University of Haifa conference.

Haifa hosts first international medical clowning seminar

Anyone visiting a Haifa hospital this week may notice an inordinate number of people donning red noses. Some of the world’s leading experts – from Canada, the US, Russia, Holland and Israel – are now participating in the First Advanced Medical Clowning International Summer Seminar at the University of Haifa.

The two-week seminar – taking place July 8- July 20 – includes workshops, lectures, round-table discussions and hospital visits.

Participants will polish their technique and reflect on key issues in the field, while learning about methods and approaches employed by clown doctors around the world.

Israel is considered a leader in professionalizing the field of medical clowning and providing scientific evidence for its effectiveness.

One of the main draws on the seminar is the highly-acclaimed Dream Doctors project that integrates professional medical clowning into the medical services provided at Israeli hospitals. About 80 Dream Doctors work in 20 hospitals throughout the country.

Workshop topics include “Human First, Red Nose Second” by Michael Christensen, founder of New York City’s Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit; “Clowning, End-of-life and Palliative Medicine” by Dr. Gilly Peleg; “Improvisation and Flexibility” by Dr. Atay Citron; and “Medical Clowning in Disaster Zones” by David Barashi.

The University of Haifa offers the world’s first-ever academic program for medical clowns.

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About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. She has jumped out of a plane, ducked rockets and been attacked by a baboon all in the name of a good story. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.