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Meet Dr. Josh Sickel

Last Updated 4/15/2013 8:51:46 AM
Image of El Camino Hero Dr. Josh SickelEl Camino Hospital pathologist Dr. Josh Sickel's strong belief in the power that humor, music and art have to positively impact the healing process, has resulted in the unique and well-loved Healing Arts Program--a major contribution to the hospital's reputation for personalized patient care.

Now a formal program, it wasn't always so. Using his own ideas and his own funds, Dr. Sickel introduced the idea that those things that make us human also have a place in the too-often sterile hospital setting. He started by establishing an in-house TV channel that runs classic funny films and TV programs. He then moved on to hiring a few musicians who would play in the hallways and, if invited, at the bedsides of ill and lonely patients. Next came "jesters" to cheer up patients, art supplies and CD players at the bedside, and more musicians in both staff and patient areas throughout the hospital. Not forgetting the hardworking staff who care for these patients, he sponsors massage, coffee, food and music breaks for employees.

Asking little and needing little from formal hospital operations channels, this physician, whose “day job” is reading pathology reports, has never given up on his passion for the healing power of art, music and laughter.