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Presidential assassinations and the ‘V.I.P. Syndrome’

COURTESY PHOTO Dr. John Cosgrove will speak about presidential assassinations and the ‘V.I.P. Syndrome’ as part of the Friday Night Dialogues at the Library on November 20.

COURTESY PHOTO | Dr. John Cosgrove will speak about presidential assassinations and the ‘V.I.P. Syndrome’ as part of the Friday Night Dialogues at the Library on November 20.

BY  PETER FARRAR | CONTRIBUTOR

Friday Night Dialogues at the Library will host Islander Dr. John Cosgrove on November 20 at 7 p.m. He will discuss an obscure but interesting subject — the V.I.P. Syndrome, or how the medical system responds to “special” patients — presidents, celebrities, potentates and the rich and famous.

Dr. Cosgrove will highlight the historical medical care of U.S. presidents. He said, “Our four assassinated presidents, Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy, provide poignant lessons in both substandard care and heroic exploits.”

He’ll talk about the important role of the White House physician and the American College of Surgeons in providing seamless, first-rate care for the president during his travels throughout the United States.

V.I.P. Syndrome is a “condition caused when a very important person, a V.I.P. by virtue of fame, position or claim on public interest, disrupts the normal course of patient care in a hospital,” according to one medical dictionary. This is a problem for hospital administrations, doctors and the celebrities, not to mention the inconvenience and time delays for the everyday patient. V.I.P.s generate awe in caregivers and a loss of the objectivity that is essential to the practice of scientific medicine.

Dr. Cosgrove is a general surgeon at Eastern Long Island Hospital. His historical perspective on the medical care surrounding our past presidents’ assassinations, and his knowledge of a medical dilemma as it relates to V.I.P.s in a celebrity-addled culture is sure to prove enlightening.

Join him on Friday, November 20 at 7 p.m. in the Community Room on the lower level of the library. Admission is free with donations gladly accepted.

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