"Sham Peer Review" exists in the way hospitals and insurance
companies hold sway on patient care.
Below a letter in response to an article on Medscape by Dr. Mark McDonnel,
suggests that "sham review" is much too mild–"bad faith," in his opinion,
is a more apt term.
We agree, physician-scientists who lend their name to ghostwritten journal
articles or who submit for publication their analysis of only partial clinical trial
results should be regarded as acting in "bad faith." Their actions undermine the safety of
patients and the integrity of medicine.
Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav
>From Medscape General MedicineT
Readers’ Responses to the Letter by Chalifoux and the Editorial by Bond in
Regard to "Sham Peer Review"
Mark F. McDonnell, MD; Lawrence R. Huntoon, MD, PhD, FAAN; John Majerus;
John Wright, MD, FRACS, FACS
To the Editor,
I read with interest the recent article on sham peer review. I was even
more interested in the recent editorial by Mr. Bond on the same topic,
because it suggests a very plausible motive for sham peer review to occur,
namely, economic domination of the physician community.
It is obvious that an independent physician community is the greatest
economic threat to the health insurance-hospital industrial complex. Good
are especially dangerous to this conglomerate, because they put their
patients’ interests ahead of the dictates of managed care or of the local
economic success. As Mr. Bond elucidates, this health insurance-hospital
industrial complex initially tried to control physicians by purchasing
practices but found that the good doctors cannot be bought. The "final
seems to be to eliminate troublesome doctors altogether, with sham peer
review as the ultimate weapon. Denying care to our patients apparently was
not profitable enough.
I also would strenuously object to this term of "sham" peer review as being
much too mild. With the heinous level to which all of this activity has
I think that the term "bad faith" peer review (with all of its legal
better describes the situation and should be used exclusively.
Victimized physicians need to organize and strike back against the bad
of the health insurance-hospital industrial complex and its minions.
Moreover, all physicians must become informed of this latest attempt to
medicine and must support their victimized colleagues. Bad faith peer
a crime against patients, physicians, and medicine itself.
Mark F. McDonnell, MD
1. Chalifoux R, Jr. So what is a sham peer review? MedGenMed.
2005;7:47. Available at:
November 15, 2005.
2. Bond C. Editorial in response to "what is sham peer review?"
MedGenMed. 2005;7:48. Available at:
Accessed November 15, 2006.