After the great Joe DiMaggio died, there was a minor swirl of controversy
as to which piece of New York real estate would be honored by having his name
bestowed upon it. Eventually, the West Side Highway got the nod, and future
New Yorkers will have, in addition to a sluggishly moving presidential drive
along the East River (the FDR), a baseball hero's memorial their cars can
creep along beside the Hudson River on the west.
This debate turned this writer's own attention closer to home, and the
way we have named our institutions of higher learning over the years, especially
our medical schools and their components. Perhaps, in part, due to their high
cost, many are state run and thus reflect this in their titles. This actually
works fairly well most of the time, as prosaic as the practice might be, and
one can always maintain that names, in and of themselves, are less important
than the inherent quality of the institutions they identify.
Weisse AB. Naming Names. JAMA. 2000;283(18):2357–2358. doi:10.1001/jama.283.18.2357
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