Physicians urge National Academy of Medicine to expel member over plagiarism allegations: 6 notes

Several physicians have urged the National Academy of Medicine to expel former CDC adviser and disaster medicine specialist Eric K. Noji, MD, from the organization following allegations of plagiarism, according to The New York Times.

Here are six things to know about the case.

1. Dr. Noji was admitted into the NAM in 2005. Dr. Noji has previously held executive roles at the CDC, World Health Organization and in the White House, advising on a number of disease and health-related endeavors. He has also won numerous awards and medals for his work, according to his Facebook page.

2. However, The New York Times notes some of the awards Dr. Noji claims to have won don't exist, and several of his papers and one book chapter were copied from the work of his former colleagues at the CDC and the Agency for International Development, according to a complaint filed by Arthur L. Kellermann, MD, dean of the F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md.

3. In his complaint, Dr. Kellerman specifically cites a research paper in which Dr. Noji described emergency medicine work he performed during the 2003 Iraq invasion. The Uniformed Services University, where Dr. Noji served as an adjunct professor, conducted an investigation in 2016 and discovered the work described in Dr. Noji's paper was actually done by Frederick Burkle Jr., MD, a senior fellow and scientist at the Cambridge, Mass.-based Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and adjunct professor at USU, who served as Dr. Noji's supervisor during the mission.

4. The university's investigation also alleges Dr. Noji plagiarized five research papers, fabricated an account of his research and his experience in Iraq and misrepresented his credentials before he was named to NAM in 2005, according to the The New York Times. USU dismissed Dr. Noji from the medical school staff in May 2016.

5. Dr. Kellerman reportedly brought his concerns to NAM officials with the intent to expel Dr. Noji from the organization. While the move received support from the academy's governing board, its president and various members, the academy's bylaws reportedly do not possess any protocol for ousting a member who commited scientific misconduct, according to the report. A NAM spokesperson told The New York Times falsification, plagiarism or fabrication after a physician is elected to the organization are not grounds for removal.

6. NAM reportedly reached a compromise regarding the complaint against Dr. Noji in December 2016 and issued a rule stating membership into the organization may be rescinded if an individual provides false information prior to becoming a member. The organization is reportedly still considering Dr. Noji's case, according to The New York Times.

To access The New York Times report, click here.

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