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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The tricks are on me! » » Medical professionals who love magic (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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manal
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And now, heres something we hope you"ll really like...

http://www.openheartmagic.com
Life is too important to take seriously.

james@jamesmanalli.com

www.jamesmanalli.com
NurseRob
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Manal, that is a wonderful operation! It would be AWESOME if there were a group like that in my area.
Ut imago est animi voltus sic indices oculi ~
The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter ~Cicero
jocdoc
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Some great stories, guys!

I've incorporated close-up magic as part of my family medicine practice for some 25+ years on a daily basis. I use cards, coins, malini egg bag, sponge balls, balloons, TT's and improvise with the zillions of toys that fill my rooms. In addition to my medical practice, I perform for volunteer shows for local charities.

As most of us are well aware, many patients (esp. adult men) are ashamed to be in a doctor's office in the first place. After all, John Wayne wouldn't have gone to a doctor if he were in pain - he would have sucked on a silver bullet instead! Magic is a great way to break barriers and create closer relationships with our patients. It works for all ages (I like making my seniors feel like kids again!). And, of course, the kids always look forward to seeing their "magic doc."

I also use magic as part of my patient education presentations using, for example, sponge balls to represent cholesterol molecules or magic stiff rope for discussion of hypertension or erectile dysfunction. Patients learn better when they're having fun and they remember what I tell them.

If anyone is not already familiar with it, Scott Tokar and Harrison Carroll wrote an excellent book called Side-Fx (http://www.corporatefx.com/side-fx.htm) teaching clinically relevant magic tricks for health care providers. Gotta love the cut and restored stethoscope. Highly recommended book and DVD.

Just a couple of fun medical magical experiences: I performed a fun trick for a 78 y.o. woman that was new to my practice. She liked it very much and told me that she's always enjoyed magic. "In fact, I used to work for a magician," she told me. I had to ask, of course.... Harry Blackstone, Sr! She was the girl that he cut in half on stage for 3 years. Thinking quickly, I performed another trick for her - making sure that she was an active participant in the effect. Because of this, I can proudly state that Harry Blackstone, Sr. and I shared the same magic assistant!

I enjoy creating fun effects on the spot. I recently performed signed cards to prostate and another trick that I simply will refer to as "At Your Cervix." The latter effect was a signed card that I produced while performing a PAP exam! The patients loved the tricks - it helps if you choose your subjects appropriately, I might add... (and, no additional co-pay was required!)

Finally, I want to give credit to my most recent mentor, Bob Elliott. Bob moved out here to San Diego about 3 years ago and my "game got kicked up quite a few notches." For those of you who may not be familiar with Bob, he's best known as the first teacher for many famous magicians including David Copperfield, David Blaine, Chris Angel and countless others through Tannen's Magic Camp and other venues. Bob would visit my office a few times a week and we'd go out and do magic together over lunches at local restaurants. He'd also entertain my patients while they waited to see me. Bob's given out hundreds of silver dollars to my patients over the past years (pulling the coins from out of their 'cash ears')!

In summary, my philosophy is to try and make the world a better place. A physician's job is to - essentially - comfort patients. If that involves curing them, great, but that's not always possible unfortunately. I've made house calls to my elderly patients dying at home and performed magic for them which was appreciated more than their morphine at times.

There's far too much stress out there. Injecting unexpected fun into someone's lives is a great way to get things started. I'm glad to see that others feel the same way.
I do tricks that bring pleasure to many. I'm either a magician or a hooker.
Check out my magic scrapbook:http://www.medicine-in-motion.com/magic.htm
http://www.sprainedangles.com
Give me an inch and I'll give you a smile!
NurseRob
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Quote:
On 2008-10-10 03:37, jocdoc wrote:


I enjoy creating fun effects on the spot. I recently performed signed cards to prostate and another trick that I simply will refer to as "At Your Cervix." The latter effect was a signed card that I produced while performing a PAP exam! The patients loved the tricks - it helps if you choose your subjects appropriately, I might add... (and, no additional co-pay was required!)


Please tell me you let them keep the card afterward...they don't go back in the deck right?!?!? Smile

Quote:



There's far too much stress out there. Injecting unexpected fun into someone's lives is a great way to get things started. I'm glad to see that others feel the same way.


Doc, you are my new hero! Would very much like to hear some more of your medical magic adventures!!
Ut imago est animi voltus sic indices oculi ~
The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter ~Cicero
jocdoc
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Aw, shucks.... go on - you make me blush...

Yes, they do get to keep their signed/personalized cards afterwards. If they don't want to keep their cards, we tape them to the wall of the room. People notice the cards right away and wonder why they're there - they find out pretty quickly, though.

As far as stories, no time to recount specific instances here. Suffice to say that I try to make everyday fun for my patients and staff. Also, it's not the finish of the tricks that count, it's the fun/BS on the ride to the destination (as David Kaye might put it) - i.e. the improvisation that occurs during the presentations that make them so much fun. I work with whatever happens to be lying around in the room at the time and just "go with it." I treat all ages from newborns (they're the easiest to fool!) to over 100 years old (even the worst coin vanishes work great here!) and tailor my mprov material accordingly.

I always keep quickie things in my pockets. These include:

-4 blue sponge balls (whereby they get to handle my balls during the routine)

- a small nun (how many invisible coins did you see me place in my hand? nun!)and a cigarette lighter (which one's heavier? Nope, it's the lighter!)

-money stuff: thumb tip with mismade bill, $2 to two $1 transformation, coins (silver dollar, half dollar, quarter and a penny - the latter turns into a piece of bubble gum for kids)

-Steve Draun's Real Man's Wallet for card to wallet. This also contains magical effects including B'Wave. I carry a comedy magic miniature wallet, as well.

- deck of cards (some trick decks on occasion) and rubber bands.

I may switch in fun effects on any given day depending upon my mood. Gotta keep things interesting, after all.

That's all for now - just got called to see a patient...

Make every day a FUN day!

Posted: Nov 8, 2008 12:18pm
As a follow-up to the above, I just posted pictures of my "magical" medical exam room on my web site. Go to the bottom of the page at: http://www.medicine-in-motion.com/magic.htm

One can't ever really have too many toys, can he???
I do tricks that bring pleasure to many. I'm either a magician or a hooker.
Check out my magic scrapbook:http://www.medicine-in-motion.com/magic.htm
http://www.sprainedangles.com
Give me an inch and I'll give you a smile!
ttaylor176
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I'm a firefighter/paramedic when I go on medical calls and a child is present, I will perform a trick for them. Just like Manal said for that one brief second they forgotten all thier troubles. What a feeling it is to see thier faces light up.
jocdoc
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There's nothing like comforting a stressed child with magic and humor. I took care of a 10 year old girl today who just lost her hair from chemotherapy and was feeling down (and was very scared of the needles). I put clown wigs on both of us, created a mess with a confetti gun, played with some sponge balls and made her some balloon animals. It made the necessary blood draw go a lot easier. Afterwards, we took pictures of the mess that she took home with her wearing a big smile on her face!

[I'm also submitting pictures to get her a real wig from the "Locks of Love" for children where people donate their hair to make wigs for children.]
I do tricks that bring pleasure to many. I'm either a magician or a hooker.
Check out my magic scrapbook:http://www.medicine-in-motion.com/magic.htm
http://www.sprainedangles.com
Give me an inch and I'll give you a smile!
Chappo
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Bris Vegas
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A fantastic thread... Though I am in no position to entertain young children (primarily a card man) it's great to see that there is some good left in the world.
The rules of a sleight of hand artist, Are three, and all others are vain,

The 1st & the 2nd are practice... And the 3rd one is practice again


- 'Magic of the Hands', Edward Victor (1940)
NurseRob
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Wow Doc, nice exam room! Magic EVERYWHERE! I can see you've found the solution to prop management.

Until I discovered the purposeful use of magic, I relied on humor to help alleviate patient anxiety. I now find that the inclusion of carefuly arranged magic effects, allows me to "improvise" more effectively for each patient encounter. By having a good selection of tricks up my sleeve( in my pockets), I can respond to the moment with just the right thing. I have to be very careful though, remembering to remove my ninja rings from my pocket before entering the MRI room, it could be a career ending show for sure.

Magic is a great escape/distraction in our work. I believe it's the best reason for inspired medical care providers to study this most versatile performance art.
Ut imago est animi voltus sic indices oculi ~
The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter ~Cicero
Wayne Kawamoto
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There's a book that presents themes to do with tricks, many of them medical. Dr. Jay Ungar, the author, is a medical doctor, a practicing internist with a specialty in geriatrics.

I thought it was very good:
http://magic.about.com/od/magicreview/fr/080306magiclife.htm

You might enjoy a recent article that talked about things that doctors can learn from magicians. You can read my thoughts about the article:
http://magic.about.com/b/2008/10/19/can-......ians.htm

You can read the entire article here:
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/125385.php

-Wayne
www.Magic.About.com - Magic News and Reviews
Author: "Picture Yourself As a Magician"
jocdoc
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Thanks for posting the links, Wayne. I knew of Ungar's book, but hadn't picked it up yet.

I agree with your take on the British article. It certainly makes it seem like their doctors are akin to the old snake oil salesman (now Pop Hadyn's territory!). Magic can be very useful in our practices, but I can't think of any good doc that would purposely deceive patients in a manner such as they alluded to (I won't bring up the subject of placebo's).
I do tricks that bring pleasure to many. I'm either a magician or a hooker.
Check out my magic scrapbook:http://www.medicine-in-motion.com/magic.htm
http://www.sprainedangles.com
Give me an inch and I'll give you a smile!
Rock_Slatestone
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Been Here A While But My Post Count Is
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Hi Everyone,

This has been a great thread. Thanks for sharing your highly emotional experiences. They are beautiful.

I was just about to start approaching the local hospitals in my area to brighten the lives of others, who would you recommend I contact first? I am not familiar with job descriptions at hospitals, is there an "entertainment" coordinator?

Have a great day,

Steven
jocdoc
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There are a couple of ways to go on this, Steve. My first thought was to contact the Director of Nursing, but on second thought you might want to contact the hospital's marketing/public relations director and pitch yourself to them. Anything that produces happy patients in a depressing setting is good marketing for them, after all. At the very least, they should be able to refer you to the appropriate individual.

Other thoughts: if your focus will be on children, you might call to speak with the director of the Pediatrics department. I suspect that it would be easier to get a gig with the kids than the adults.

Hope this helps. Good luck and have FUN!
I do tricks that bring pleasure to many. I'm either a magician or a hooker.
Check out my magic scrapbook:http://www.medicine-in-motion.com/magic.htm
http://www.sprainedangles.com
Give me an inch and I'll give you a smile!
NurseRob
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Dallas, TX
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I think it is great of you to seek out the hospital scene. If the hospital is a pediatric only facility, you should seek out the director of Child Life services, or the director of volunteer services at any hospital. Both departments are customarily directly involved with coordinating celebraties, clowns, musicians, and other philanthropic activities within the hospital setting. The management structure of many hospitals differ, and it may take some digging around to get to the right service. Once you get inside, you will find that magic that you do for these kids/patients will give you the greatest reward you could hope for. To me there is nothing more noble than to use your talents for this purpose.
Ut imago est animi voltus sic indices oculi ~
The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter ~Cicero
jocdoc
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I forgot that I had written an article for docs on this subject. You can find it here: http://www.medicine-in-motion.com/Files/......cine.doc

Hope someone finds it useful.
I do tricks that bring pleasure to many. I'm either a magician or a hooker.
Check out my magic scrapbook:http://www.medicine-in-motion.com/magic.htm
http://www.sprainedangles.com
Give me an inch and I'll give you a smile!
musicman20190
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I started performing magic for my hospitalized adult oncology patient's about 6 years ago. This has been tremendously rewarding for my patients and myself. It breaks down so many barriers, because you are relating to the person, not just the patient. It builds trust, friendship and most importantly brings hope. I have had many patients say to me that they hope I could work the same "magic" on them. Jeff McBride offers a course each year entitled "Magic for the medical professional" I have always wanted to attend but I, like so many others, never seem to have the time.
NurseRob
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Nice Article Doc! I am going to begin using the cotton swab bit, it's perfect!

The magic we do for patients is as enduring as it is effective, a little side story:

The mother of a 6 yr old liver transpant patient caught me in the hall last week, while I was transporting another patient to MRI. The expression of gratitude was so profound, I was very humbled that such small diversions on my part, had such dramatic impact on others.

I had performed for her son more than a month ago while he was in my department. He was so elated by the magic that I pulled out more stuff than I usually do. Having learned that his birthday was in a couple days, I brought him some simple tricks, and sessioned with him the following week for his birthday.

The day this mom caught up with me, she had told me that they were finally being discharged after nearly 5 months in the hospital, and that over the last several weeks, how her son has cherished the magic tricks. He made a box to store his props, wrote "top secret" on it, and was performing for his doctors, nurses and anyone else he could ever since our encounter. Her eyes got teary, as she told me how much fun he'd been having being a magician, and how he went on about seeing the magic guy. Getting a little misty myself, I felt at that moment how powerful some simple magic can be.

No matter how broken the body..the spirit can be empowered by just a little kindness, and by performing a little magic at the right moments.

Magic is an awesome vehicle for reaching out to others to show you care about them.
Ut imago est animi voltus sic indices oculi ~
The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter ~Cicero
jocdoc
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Beautiful story, NoVaCain.

Side Fx (by Tokar and Carroll) has many fun, easy-to-implement ideas for medical personnel. Try the cut and restored stethoscope sometime, too!
I do tricks that bring pleasure to many. I'm either a magician or a hooker.
Check out my magic scrapbook:http://www.medicine-in-motion.com/magic.htm
http://www.sprainedangles.com
Give me an inch and I'll give you a smile!
Wayne Kawamoto
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There was a recent story about Mike Walton, the founder of the nonprofit "Open Heart Magic." Once a week, he and 24 other magicians perform and teach magic to kids in five Chicago hospitals.

http://magic.about.com/b/2008/12/19/work......kids.htm

This sounds like an excellent program. Mike Walton isn't a doctor, but I thought the story might offer some insights into the subject here.

-Wayne
www.Magic.About.com - Magic News and Reviews
Author: "Picture Yourself As a Magician"
jocdoc
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Checked out his web site - what a great program! I particularly loved the title of the upcoming March program, "Tricks are for Kids!"

Thanks, Wayne.

Posted: Dec 22, 2008 8:59pm
Before I forget, wishin' y'all a very PAPpy New Year!
http://www.medicine-in-motion.com/images......year.jpg
I do tricks that bring pleasure to many. I'm either a magician or a hooker.
Check out my magic scrapbook:http://www.medicine-in-motion.com/magic.htm
http://www.sprainedangles.com
Give me an inch and I'll give you a smile!
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