Magic as medicine: Riley doctor easing the minds of patients through tricks


Dr. Croop at the 2016 Cancer Center Prom.

Photo courtesy: Riley Hospital for Children

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind—For children, a doctor’s visit or a stay at the hospital,  can be a frightening experience.

But one doctor at Riley Hospital for Children is looking to ease their fears  and make them all disappear.

“Coming here for many patients, as you can imagine is very stressful. This is simply one more way to relax them and make them feel a little better,” said Dr. James Croop, a pediatric hematologist and oncologist at Riley Hospital.

Chances are if you run into him in the halls of the hospital,  he’ll have a rubber band on him.

Not to hold things together. but to use for a different purpose.

For the past 15 years, Dr. Croop has been easing the minds of patients, with his bag of tricks.

He first got the idea 15 years ago while at a conference and quickly became hooked.,.

“Everyone was just spellbound watching this guy. We were right in front of him and he was doing these great little miracles.”

From cards to coins, to rubber bands,  Dr. Croop says it’s a sure way to brighten a patient’s day.

“For some of them, I’d like to think it’s one of the highlights of when they come here. Better then some of the other things we have to do,” he explained.

Next month, our Alexa Green will take part in the annual celebrity dance competition to support Riley Hospital for Children.

The ballroom dance competition is called Reason to Dance, Reason for Hope and will be held on March 8th, at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis.

All proceeds raised will go to Riley Hospital for Children.

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