Intended for healthcare professionals


Prominent US critic of cancer screening committed plagiarism, investigation finds

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 22 August 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3616
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

A well known scholar in US healthcare policy plagiarised his colleague at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, in a widely cited critique of breast cancer screening, an internal investigation by the college has found.

H Gilbert Welch “engaged in research misconduct, namely, plagiarism,” the investigation committee found, in writing a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).1 The article, which questioned the survival benefits of breast cancer screening, attracted widespread media attention and was cited by 94 other articles, making it one of the top 1% of influential research articles of 2016.

The committee found that Welch, a professor at the Geisel School of Medicine and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, had “knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly [appropriated] the …

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