David Elkin isn’t your average third-year medical student. He doesn’t just practice medicine, he also practices magic on his patients, to make their fear disappear. He started MagicAid - a program that aims to relieve patients of some of their health worries by showing them and teaching them magic, and he performs for pediatric patients and families each week at the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital in Stony Brook, New York.
"Magic is unique in that it allows you suspend your disbelief and make you feel that the impossible is possible," Elkin says. "So when I perform magic for patients at the hospital, I like to think that it provides them with a subconscious hope that they'll get through this."
Elkin’s “bag of tricks” is gaining popularity, around 50 fellow med students are involved with MagicAid now to learn how to bring fun and happiness to their patients. "You can't really see what happens in magic,” he points out, “ it's all an illusion, so kids feel like magic is medicine.”