The Patch Adams Club

Hello! Thanks for your interest in Patch Adams. The goal of this website is to acquaint you with what we do (which is pretty awesome stuff). Participating in Patch Adams requires no experience or prior knowledge of pediatric inpatients. All you need is a big heart and an open smile!

Mission: Inspired by pioneering medical doctor, clown, and social activist Hunter “Patch” Adams, MD, Patch Adams aims to improve the wellbeing for pediatric inpatients through creative engagement, primarily through humor and magic tricks. This club is all about being goofy. We are a dedicated group of medical students who are committed to supporting the Child Life Team at BMC by providing entertainment and joy to the patients and their families once a week.

Goals of the Child Life Team at BMC:

  • To help children express their feelings in a safe and supportive environment.
  • To interact with children in a developmentally and culturally sensitive matter.
  • To help children manage pain effectively.
  • To provide support for children and families in order to maintain family closeness.
  • To offer child choices that increase feelings of independence, self-esteem, and trust.

Goals of the Patch Adams Club:

  • To offer child choices that increase feelings of independence, self-esteem, and trust.
  • To establish a presence in the pediatrics ward at regular intervals that is both enjoyable for the patients and conducive to the working environments of the hospital staff.
  • To help students connect with other pediatric clubs within the BU Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine to help create a sense of community among those interested in Pediatrics. 
  • To have fun, make a fool of yourself, and make someone’s day a little brighter!

Some General Info about Volunteering with Us

Patch Adams is a relatively minor time commitment, with huge payoff. We offer 1-hour volunteer time slots per semester, with two students able to sign up per slot. You may be with one patient for the whole time, two, or five to ten, it really depends on what the wards look like on that specific day.

Volunteering with Patch Adams follows this sequence: 

  1. A couple of logistical things: creating a BMC volunteer account and completing a volunteer application, going through an orientation with the Child Life Team at BMC, and completing a Protection of Minors training
  2. Sign up for a shift with Patch Adams via the Excel sheet. 
  3. If applicable, coordinate with your partner beforehand to ensure that you both are on the same page during your volunteering experience. 
  4. Show up to your shift on time – the Pediatric inpatient unit is on Yawkey 5th floor. Take the set of elevators closest to Boston’s first love, Dunkin Donuts, and Yawkey cafeteria. 
  5. Once at the Pediatric inpatient unit, you will meet Molly Duggan, the Child Life Manager – she will know you are arriving – and she will review the census and discuss patients who would be appropriate for an interaction. 
  6. It’s your turn! Have some fun. 

Group Email: