Patch Adams is a 1998 semi-biographical comedy-drama film. The film is directed by Tom Shadyac. It is based on the life story of Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams and the book Gesundheit: Good Health is a Laughing Matter by Adams and Maureen Mylander.
Having attempted to commit suicide several times, Patch Adams admits himself into a mental health institution. In the institute he learns that the doctors’ care is not sufficient to cure the patients but the way he interacts with the other patients with some funny ways help them more.
Adams decides to become a doctor and enrolls himself at Virginia Medical University. While there he finds that the doctors’ insensitive approaches to cure patients don’t work properly and introduces new but unorthodox ways. This results a clash between him and the medical school’s head Dean Walcott.
Adams falls in love with a pretty and young medical student called Carin Fisher and both start a free medical facility in a land given by a patient of Adams. Here they start the future Gesundheit! Institute. Some of their friends also help their endeavor.
Carin, Adams’ girlfriend gets killed by a mentally disturbed person and this devastates Adam’s spirits. He almost leaves the medical school and his own free clinic. But after seeing a butterfly – who he thinks is an incarnation of Carin – Adams decides to continue his studies and clinic.
Walcott makes life difficult for Adams and decides to expel him from the school for running an unauthorized medical clinic. But after an appeal Adams makes, he gets the higher officials’ nod to continue his education and clinic.
Adams graduates and continues his clinic and a lot of medical professionals start helping him. As mentioned above, the film is based on a true story. Adams’s hospital is still continuing and helps thousands of patients who cannot afford medical facilities in other hospitals.
The message behind the movie is that once you start something good, you will face a lot of challenges from all quarters but you should not give up. You should be strong enough to face the obstacles and still stick to what you are doing. Someday you will win. It will be a hard journey and you will have to sacrifice a lot. But that is part and parcel of the game.
What is disheartening is that the film producers have got a profit of few millions from the film but not a dollar has been donated to Adam’s noble effort. That is the way of the world. Adams is not discouraged. Up to this day he is canvassing to raise funds to complete his Gesundheit! Institute. That should be the spirit. There will be a lot of people to pull you down when you are doing something good but you don’t have to give up or give in. You will win the battle someday. It is your duty to hang on to your dream till that fateful day comes.