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Fact-based story of Hunter "Patch" Adams, the founder of the Gesundheit Clinic, a clinic which deals with their patients with humor and pathos. The film starts with Hunter admitting himself as a patient in a mental ward. While there, he found he enjoyed helping the other patients and found the staff to be cold and separative from the patients. Vowing to change things, he releases himself from the hospital and headed to the Virginia Medical College. His unorthodox methods cast him up against many of the doctors and deans of the university, despite him getting some of the highest grades in his class. Recognizing that many poor people were not being treated, as a student he formed the Gesundheit Clinic to aid those who were not getting proper treatment at the hospital. However, this brought him up before the Medical Review Board for practicing without a license.