A "notifier," who reports a possible problem to regulatory authorities, may have a sinister motive or a vested interest, and the process gives him a pathway of "absolute power" over the targeted physician. Some reports suggest that only 20% of victims of sham peer review ever return to their usual work, the authors point out.
Targeted physicians have no recourse against falsified reports, conflicted adjudicators, and biased or unqualified "experts." The process is designed to punish, not to discover truth, authors state. The workplace of the victim physician may be shown to have a "bullying culture" that is "severe, systemic, and entrenched," authors maintain.
Instead of a just hearing about an apparently rigged examination, a foreign medical student attending Melbourne University got a threat of a two-year "incarceration term" if he exposed any of the evidence in public, and he was forced to leave Australia immediately with a crushing financial debt, the article states.
Authors conclude that because sham peer review breaches laws including federal competition laws and international human rights conventions, this form of workplace "mobbing" or organized bullying may now be technically considered as a form of white-collar "organized crime." Colleagues who observe sham peer review and do nothing are in effect complicit participants and not merely "innocent bystanders." Unfortunately, medical boards and other authorities are likely to support perpetrators.
Long-term, practical reforms through legislation and education are needed, the article states.
The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is published by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sham-peer-review-of-physicians-spreads-worldwide-according-to-the-journal-of-american-physicians-and-surgeons-300383441.html
SOURCE Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)