September 14, 2013

Doing the DMC Right

The big news for Rochester, Minn., this year has been the unfolding Mayo Clinic project called Destination Medical Center (DMC). This is an incredibly important project because it’s a 20-year, $5 billion economic development initiative—complete with $327 million in state taxpayer aid—that no one seems to understand or can coherently explain. Even Mayo Clinic’s own Web page dedicated to explaining DMC doesn’t appear to be convinced about what it’s trying to explain.

According to their Web page, DMC is intended “to secure Mayo Clinic’s and Minnesota’s status as a global medical destination,” which suggests Mayo Clinic is somehow hanging precariously on the edge of a cliff, anticipating losing its global clout. As for actual project details, the Web page is remarkably sparse; there’s not even a mention about who, exactly, will RUN-DMC.

*pause to allow that terrible joke to blow over*

Now, if I was handed a check for $5 billion and told to design a Destination Medical Center, I’d include some attractions that would be guaranteed to draw patients from around the world. I mean, people aren’t going to jump on a plane in France to come to Mayo Clinic because its doctors excel at digital rectal exams to check for an enlarged prostate. However, if there was an amusement park ride at the DMC called the “Prostate Pirate Ship,” well, I think that would definitely set Mayo Clinic apart.

For that matter, there’s really nothing entertaining about cardiovascular disease. Patients generally don’t wave their hands in the air and scream “WHEEEE!” when discussing cardiovascular disease. But, if patients could hop on a “Cardiovascular Carousel,” you might realize a more upbeat disposition. Instead of horses, the patients could sit on huge replica aortas, or choose to sit in either a replica atrium or ventricle—right or left.

As long as I’m considering heart conditions, my DMC would include a “Tachycardia Tilt-A-Whirl.” Granted, such a ride would probably aggravate the existing condition, but if you’re going to have an elevated heart rate, you might as well double down and have a good time with it.

And, of course, there would simply HAVE to be an “Obamacare Octopus,” which would be the only attraction at my DMC that everyone would be required to ride. In fact, if people decided not to ride the “Obamacare Octopus,” they’d have to pay a non-riding fee. It would probably be the most unpopular attraction at my DMC, but it would have to be included.

Now that I think about it, with $5 billion at my disposal, there’s no reason my DMC couldn’t include an extensive indoor water park. I mean, patients would absolutely flock to Mayo Clinic if they knew they could splish and splash at “Hippocrates’ H20asis!” People would forget their medical woes entirely if they were enthroned on an innertube, floating down the “Listeriosis Lazy River.” Or, they could further aggravate their tachycardia by taking a ride down the “Fibromyalgia Flume.” Entire families could enjoy a fun ride on the “Bronchitis Bumper Boats.”

All of this could be a part of my DMC design, and I haven’t even made a dent in the $5 billion. Yes sir, if you want a world class medical center that’s guaranteed to solidify Mayo Clinic’s role as a leading healthcare institution that puts the FUN in “functioning pancreatic endocrine tumor,” I’m the perfect candidate to RUN-DMC.

Posted by Ryan at September 14, 2013 02:07 PM | TrackBack
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