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Pitfalls of naming medical schools after big donors

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Pieces in Academic Medicine¬† and The New York Times note the increasing incidence of medical schools being renamed after big donors, such as Dartmouth naming its medical school after Theodor Geisel (aka ”Dr. Seuss, ” Class of 1929) in recognition of the big donations to Dartmouth by Mr. Geisel and his wife, Audrey. As the authors of the Academic Medicine piece note:

“The perspective considers how renaming may negatively affect brand recognition and the associated impact on students, residents, faculty, and alumni. Finally, it concludes with an analysis of taxpayer-funded organizations and the concern that educational renaming will lead to a slippery slope in which other public goods are effectively purchased by wealthy donors.”

Still, in the case of Dartmouth, it’s hard to see much bad PR coming from naming its medical school after a famed artist and children’s book author.

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