The Story Of The Doctor Who Falsified His Scientific Research. Because There Are No Losers In Drugmonkey Elections

Three of you cared. Three of you out there looked past the easy entertainment of the everyday circus that is my worklife and said "Drugmonkey, while tales of drugstore sales clerks who direct customers looking for corn medicine to the gardening section never fail to amuse us, we are concerned about any threat to the objectivity of the scientific method, and we take seriously our obligation to stay part of an informed citizenry." I have heard your pleas, and you will have the story you so deserve to hear.

Of course one person demanded that I write both stories, which I am about to do, so I guess you could really say I am just caving into this particular person's demands. Perhaps you are about to read this tale of scientific skulduggery only because I am spineless and weak. At any rate, from last Saturday's New York Times:

Dr. Romney C. Andersen, a Walter Reed Army Medical Center surgeon, was surprised last summer when his neighbor, a fellow doctor, congratulated him on a new medical journal study bearing his name.

“What study?” Dr. Andersen asked.

Soon, he was not the only person asking questions. Army officials, alerted by Dr. Andersen, began an investigation. They uncovered an apparent case of falsified research by a doctor who had befriended Dr. Andersen when they both worked at Walter Reed, treating American soldiers severely injured in Iraq.

The disputed journal article was written by a former Army orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Timothy R. Kuklo, who is now a medical professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Kuklo, the investigation found, forged the signatures of Dr. Andersen and other Army doctors on his study and never showed it to them before it was published.


I won't say anything about bad karma coming from an illegal war started by an incompetent president, because quite honestly, compared to slaughtering a hundred thousand or so people who didn't attack us for no good reason, something like this wouldn't even register on the karma payback scale. Karma has bigger plans for us I'm sure.

In his study, Dr. Kuklo, who has not responded to repeated interview requests, reported that a bone-growth product sold by Medtronic, called Infuse, performed “strikingly” better than the traditional bone-grafting technique used to heal soldiers’ shattered shin bones. Other Walter Reed doctors told an Army investigator that claim was overblown.


But.....but....why would someone do such a thing? Forge signatures to get a scientific paper published? Maybe because he just wanted to look smart, and wanted some of the honor and prestige that comes with being a smart person.

Medtronic financed some of Dr. Kuklo’s research and travel while he was at Walter Reed and hired him as a consultant in August 2006 when he took his current academic post.

Or maybe he just wanted to get paid. Seriously, how much honor and prestige comes with being a smart person in today's society?

Medtronic has said that it had no involvement in the disputed Infuse study, despite its business ties to Dr. Kuklo.


Oh, well that makes it OK then. Because, I mean, if Medtronic was dropping off truckloads of cash in front of someones door for purposes that were not directly related to a study that person was doing, I can't think of any incentive that person might have to make Medtronic's products look good. Really, I'm sitting here racking my brain and just can't come up with a reason at all.

Dr. Kuklo has his defenders though. Like Dr. David W. Polly, who I bet is taking his stance based on scientific principle, or maybe deep friendship and an awareness of Dr. Kuklo's character, or perhaps just on the belief that one is innocent until proven guilty:

Dr. Kuklo, who moved into a $2.1 million home near St. Louis, was not the first departing Walter Reed doctor to get a consulting deal from Medtronic. For instance, it had struck an arrangement with Dr. Kuklo’s former boss, Dr. David W. Polly Jr., when he left the military hospital in 2003.

Dr. Polly is now one of Dr. Kuklo’s staunchest public defenders. Recently, Dr. Polly blocked a reporter’s request that the University of Minnesota, where he now works, release his financial disclosure statement showing how much he made from Medtronic.

Or, maybe Dr Polly just wants to make sure he keeps getting paid. I'll let you decide which is more likely.

Dr. Polly, said Dr. Kuklo was mistaken to sign his co-authors’ names. But he added that was not uncommon in the military for one officer, when it was expedient, to sign for another.


"As a matter of fact, that's how I was deployed out of Iraq" Dr. Polly said in an imaginary interview. "I signed my commanding officer's name to an honorable discharge, and I was headed home the next day. Seriously, it's done all the time."

A spokesman for the Army declined to say when reached for comment in my mind only if this common practice may be responsible for any difficulty in retaining military personnel in active combat theaters.

(Dr. Kuklo's) August 2008 journal article cited other Walter Reed data to compare Infuse with the traditional bone-graft treatment for fractured shins. He declared Infuse the winner by a wide margin.

Dr. Kuklo said he had reached that finding by reviewing the records of two groups of the soldiers with similarly severe leg injuries, who had been treated either with Infuse or a bone graft. But Dr. Andersen suspected that Dr. Kuklo had fabricated the comparison groups, because many soldiers had received both Infuse and a bone graft — not one or the other.

“It was like he was comparing apples and oranges,” Dr. Andersen said. “But there weren’t any apples or oranges to compare.”

Good thing we don't have socialized medicine in this country though. Because if we had socialized medicine scientific research in this country would get all fucked up.

Wake. Up.


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The Story Of The Doctor Who Falsified His Scientific Research. Because There Are No Losers In Drugmonkey Elections
The Story Of The Doctor Who Falsified His Scientific Research. Because There Are No Losers In Drugmonkey Elections
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