This may be the coolest—or creepiest—job in health care
We found a listing for a job that could be your chance to live out your "Patch Adams" dreams.
Are you funny? Do you enjoy making people laugh? Would you take a pie to the face if it meant helping someone in their time of need?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions—well, mainly the third question—we may have found the perfect job for you. The University of Southern California’s School of Dramatic Arts recently posted a listing for a part-time lecturer at its medical clowning training program, and it’s an awesome opportunity for anyone who’s ever dreamt of being a real-life Patch Adams. (Editor’s Note: Technically, Patch Adams would be the real-life Patch Adams, but you get what we’re going for here.)
“Duties include practicing medical clowning in hospitals, logging and documenting the work, mentoring students in the medical clown internship program, and researching Medical Clowning as a global practice,” the listing reads. You’ll also get to work directly with students in a summer practicum internship, where they’ll get a chance to go on-site in a hospital and put their clowning skills to the test.
Sometimes described as “clown care,” professionals in this field utilize the standard array of clowning techniques—music, magic and good old-fashioned pratfalls—to lift the spirits of patients both young and old. That old saw about how laughter is the best medicine may actually have something to it: WebMD likens the physiological effects of laughter to that of a light workout, and says it may have some of the same benefits.
This field is also a potential growth area. According to Mary McCarty, the creative director of community programs at New York’s Big Apple Circus, the field has gotten bigger and bigger since its inception in the mid-1980s. “Consider getting on the ground floor of a new profession,” she told a group of MFA acting students at USC. “I’ve worked on Broadway, in film and television and I haven’t found anything more rewarding,”
Of course, clowning isn’t the only path into health care for job seekers looking to fuse healing and the arts. The humanities have a time-tested place in medicine, from medical illustrators to art and music therapists, who harness creative expression to improve patients’ mental and emotional well-being.
Still, clown care provides a unique opportunity to offer lightness and hope to patients for whom those qualities might be in short supply. “The clowns are my heroes because I don’t think people can imagine the stress they go through doing this work,” said McCarty.
Sufficiently intrigued? Now’s your chance to apply for USC’s medical clown lecturer role.
Like what you’ve read? Join Monster to get personalized articles and job recommendations—and to help recruiters find you.
MORE FROM MONSTER: