A feature-length documentary about a wildlife TV star who has sacrificed both fame and wealth to bring free healthcare to ordinary Americans.
In his early thirties, Stan Brock was co-starring on one of America’s most popular television shows, seen by 32,000,000 viewers every week. Today, decades later, he sleeps on a grass mat in the basement of an unheated building. He has no bank account, no house, no car, no possessions of any value. And he is living his dream. He is touching more lives with greater impact than ever before.
Stan was born in England and educated in its best schools. A passion for adventure, spurred by an unsettled family life, led him to visit the wilds of the Amazon rainforest in his late teens. He never left. For the next fifteen years, he lived among the Wapishana people, working a cattle ranch in an area so remote that the nearest doctor was 30 days away. The English schoolboy became a “jungle cowboy” – as rugged and expert in the ways of the wilderness as any of the Wapishana he befriended.
Discovered on a location shoot by the producers of “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom,” he came to the U.S. and spent five years as Marlin Perkins’ rugged partner on the wildlife adventure show. Stan was a familiar figure in homes across the country as he traveled the world to wrestle anacondas, lasso giraffes, and capture lions for the television cameras. On these journeys, he saw something that changed him forever: isolated indigenous people who, like the Wapishana, suffered and died as they had for centuries with no access to medical care. He vowed to do something about it. After another network series, he left the world of entertainment, sold everything he had, and founded the Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps.
Stan has organized and conducted more than 650 missions around the world. And he has kept his promise to return to the Wapishana – setting up a permanent medical clinic and a bush plane rescue service to reach the most remote rainforest villages. But in recent years, the challenge has changed.
Now, sixty percent of RAM’s expeditions are not to the developing world but to depressed regions of the United States, areas where the unmet need for medical care is overwhelming. Millions of uninsured and underinsured go for years without seeing a doctor or dentist. Through RAM’s free clinics, many thousands now receive free medical, vision and dental care. The value of care delivered is measured in tens of millions of dollars. In suffering eased and lives saved, the worth is incalculable. Stan now plans to bring the RAM model to every state in America, but state regulations on medical practitioners stand in his way.
Medicine Man: The Stan Brock Story is a challenging and inspiring documentary about an unlikely man on an unwavering and improbable mission, to confront one of the biggest social issues of our time.