Patch Adams is a 1998 semi-biographical comedy-drama film starring Robin Williams. Directed by Tom Shadyac, it is based on the life story of Dr. Hunter "Patch" Adams and the book Gesundheit: Good Health is a Laughing Matter by Adams and Maureen Mylander. Despite being poorly received by most critics, the film was a box-office success, grossing over twice its budget in the United States alone.
Hunter Adams (Robin Williams) commits himself into a mental institution. Once there, he finds that using humor to help his fellow inmates gives him a purpose in life. Because of this he wants to become a medical doctor and two years later enrolls at Virginia Medical University as the oldest first year student. He questions the school's soulless approach to medical care and clashes with the school's Dean Walcott (Bob Gunton), who believes that doctors must treat patients as patients and not bond with them as people.