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The value in name patients

The choices made by the rich and famous do impact the choices made by those who are merely rich, and grow the hospitals in question as surely as a Nobel Prize can grow a university.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive

Dr. Allan H. Friedman, Duke University Medical CenterIn all the coverage of Sen. Edward Kennedy's brain tumor, one fact has gone little remarked.

The surgery is taking place at Duke. Not in Massachusetts. In North Carolina.

The surgeon is Dr. Allan H. Friedman (right, from Duke University Medical Center). He was a Purdue undergraduate and my guess is that picture is way out of date. He is now 59.

Doubtless the Kennedys wanted the best man possible. They decided Dr. Friedman was the best man. His work on using monoclonal antibodies in this type of cancer, for which the prognosis is very poor, may have attracted them.

The choice is doubtless going to increase attention on Duke, and probably bring it more big name, big money patients. That's not something doctors or hospitals like to talk about.

But it's real. The choices made by the rich and famous do impact the choices made by those who are merely rich, and grow the hospitals in question as surely as a Nobel Prize can grow a university.

This may, in fact, be the most effective branding hospitals engage in.

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