Israel’s dedicated Dream Doctors are at the forefront of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“The coronavirus has brought so much chaos into our lives that our job now is to provide a sense of order.”
Dear readers of KOL Israel Bonds,
We salute Israel’s brave Dream Doctors, the only professional medical clowning organization in the world that has continued working in hospitals despite the Corona pandemic.
“Under normal circumstances, medical clowns lighten people’s mood by adding a bit of chaos into normally rigid medical situations and institutions to bring people joy and laughter,” explained Shoshi Ofir, who works as a medical clown in Israel’s northern hospitals of Baruch Padeh Medical Center
in Poriya and Ziv Medical Center in Tsfat. “However, the coronavirus has brought so much chaos into our lives that our job now is to provide a sense of order”
During the coronavirus crisis, Dream Doctors are duly tasked with lifting the spirits of tired and emotionally drained medical staff and finding creative ways to reach patients in quarantine through video chats, loudspeakers, exaggerated movement, sound and pantomime through thick hospital glass.
“I work in pediatric oncology and have developed relationships for years with many children who I can no longer see in person for fear of exposing them to the virus,” explained Nimrod Eisenberg, a Dream Doctor who works at
Echilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. “So we have to be even more creative now and find ways to
make them laugh about the situation.”
“You’re still healing and helping me.
Keep being a clown. You are needed and loved... Thank you again so much.”
Carrie Mork, an American tourist who was visiting Israel before the outbreak and discovered she was infected with the coronavirus during her trip. She had to be hospitalized for almost a month at Poriya Hospital and was in full quarantine. There she met Dream Doctor Shoshi Ofir, who visited her almost daily. When she was finally released and able to return to America, she wrote to Shoshi to express her gratitude, “You’re still healing and helping me. Keep being a clown. You are needed and loved... Thank you again so much.”
About The Dream Doctors Project
Founded in 2002, The Dream Doctors Project is a unique non-profit organization that integrates professional medical clowns, ‘Dream Doctors’ into Israeli hospitals by training them to work as members of multidisciplinary care teams. Dedicated to improving patient wellbeing and enhancing healthcare delivery, Dream Doctor’s trailblazing approach aims to promote medical clowning as an officially recognized paramedical profession. Among many benefits, Dream Doctor’s research- proven methods demonstrate that medical clowns significantly improve the well-being of hospitalized children, accelerate recovery time, alleviate anxiety among patients and their family members, and promote children’s social, emotional, motor and cognitive development.
Today, 100 Dream Doctors work hand-in-hand with doctors and nurses in 30 hospitals across Israel and assist in more than 40 different medical procedures. They receive specialized training in crisis intervention and serve as military reservists in the IDF humanitarian relief missions around the world.
Photos: The Dream Doctors Project