Clown Docs Program
The Clown Docs at St. Louis Children’s Hospital are five professionally trained clowns who use humor to distract patients from their hospital experience and to relieve stress among patients, family members and staff. This innovative therapy program, which has been part of Child Life Services since 1998, uses a pair of clowns to visit the hematology/oncology clinic, the neurology rehabilitation floor and all inpatient floors during two, 4-hour shifts each week. In 2003 alone, the Clown Docs made more than 5,000 visits to children in the hospital! This program also exposes medical students at Washington University School of Medicine to the benefits of humor as a communication tool through a class called The Medicine of Laughter. The Clown Docs program is funded through generous donations to the hospital.