Doctors doing more than just clowning around

THE theme is ‘laughter is the best medicine’ but for Coffs Harbour GP, health academic and occasional clown Dr Gillian Gould  the link between medicine and humour is serious business.

Dr Gould (pictured) has submitted three works to the AMA (NSW) Creative Doctors Network’s Doc Art Festival: a poem, a painting and a short film. The inspiration for her pieces comes from her years observing the comedy-cure nexus.

“Studies show that to have a good bout of laughter has a positive effect – a physiological effect,” Dr Gould told MO.

“If you look at it solely from the neurophysiological angle, laughter is known to actually release neurotransmitters, and I believe they have a positive effect on the chemistry of the body. People feel better immediately.”

Dr Gould said she had juggled a love of clowning with a medical career for years. 

Then about seven years ago she stumbled