Sunday, December 8, 2013

Farewell to University of Minnesota Medical School Dean Friedman

But first, this may be painful and require  anesthesia, 
so please click the play button above for some 
soothing music while you read.
Primum non nocere and all that...

When our beloved General Counsel, Mark Rotenberg, moved on to greener pastures at Hopkins, I thought he deserved a suitable send-off given his contributions to the University.  See my post:

Although Dean Friedman in only three years has had nowhere near the time in which to do similar damage, I believe that he also richly deserves a tribute. 

In my time as a faculty member at the U, I have  seen the following Medical School Deans in action and inaction:

Dr. David Brown - he of the scandal that cost the U of M $32 million for abuses in the medical school. 

Dr. Frank Cerra - he of the foot-dragging performance in reforming conflict of interest rules at the University of Minnesota. Pay special attention to the unofficial medical school anthem at this link. 

We had two insiders during this time.  Dr. Al Michaels and Dr. Shelly Chu held the fort while numerous outside searches failed. Both were reputed to be good people. I have no evidence to the contrary.

And then there was... Dr. Deborah Powell.  I don't even know where to go with this, but here is a start: "The Ethically Challenged U of M Medical School Administration"  Among other highly questionable moves, Dr. Powell put Dr. Leo Furcht into a position of leading a group to redo conflict of interest policies at the University without informing committee members that he had been involved in quite a conflict of interest himself.   Nice, huh?

Eventually, Dr. Powell was unhorsed in mid-stream by Dr. Frank Cerra in his administrative position as Vice President for the Academic Health Center and replaced as dean by...

Dr. Frank Cerra!

The mind reels.

And when Dr Cerra stepped down as VP/Dean, he was replaced by today's celebrant, Dr. Friedman.

So what to say about Dr. Friedman?  I'll keep it simple and just post about a  few of the preposterous things he has written, no doubt aided and abetted by people in the U of M's PR department, people like Justin Paquette whose modus operandi  is obvious from this post

So here are just a few links in tribute to our latest about to be emeritus dean. May he live long and prosper.

1. University of Minnesota Medical School Dean and Academic Health Center Vice President Dr. Aaron Friedman to Step Down  Good overall summary - if I do say so.

Note especially the pathetic defense of homeopathy written, nominally, by two medical school deans, Friedman and Cerra. Don't all doctors take chemistry as undergrads? I guess a few of them don't remember much chemistry - at least the concepts of dilution to infinity and Avogadro's number.


Dr. Friedman's pitiful attempt to defame Dr. Carl Elliot: "We hope Star Tribune readers won’t allow Elliott’s campaign to cloud reality." Dr. Friedman's Star-Tribune commentary was shredded in the comments that are included in the link.

3. Latest from the University of Minnesota Medical School: All the News That's Fit to Manage?

"To complain internally to the university community about the unfairness of the press after having dissembled as outlined above is not worthy of a University of Minnesota medical school dean."

There is, unfortunately, more. But the point is made.

Needless to say, I will not be attending the big shindig scheduled to celebrate Dr. Friedman's stepping down, nor did I attend Mr. Rotenberg's bon voyage party.

To give a certain symmetry to this post, I'll end with a final celebratory interlude. Those of you who have done your link homework will recognize it as the unofficial anthem of the University of Minnesota Medical School.  Let's hope that changes in the future.


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