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.