As first reported over a month ago on July 15, 2009, Dr Timothy Kuklo would not return this fall to Washington University in St Louis School of Medicine. His official resignation on July 30 was not voluntarily despite the disclaimers of the spinmasters at the St Louis campus. It was announced on Tuesday night August 18 and will take effect on September 30 according to the New York Times, which broke the story, in Pulitzer Prize winning fashion, of the egregious misconduct of the misbegotten lawyer-physician in May. This turn of events was inevitable given the obvious moral turpitude of this tenured associate professor. Moral turpitude would have been grounds for dismissal. Dr Kuklo clearly was given that option or resignation.
The latter was chosen but should not be construed as voluntary. He faked his research on the Medtronic bone-growth product Infuse. He falsified the signatures of four co-authors to cover up the lack of team research when he was on staff at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He was on the payroll of Medtronic while he was inventing data to enhance the marketing of their products. He violated army protocols in submitting research to medical journals such as the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. He let materialism and profit endanger his patients by presenting research that if adhered to by other orthopaedic surgeons, could have damaged or at best provided little efficacy in treatment.
Dr Kuklo faked research that he claimed was performed on Iraq War veterans who were severely wounded in combat: namely, lower leg fractures and other horrendous trauma. This physician was a colonel, a graduate from West Point who cynically manipulated data on patients who suffered in an unjust war and added to this outrage by cynically lying about a bio-engineered protein growth product that might illegitimately be used on other military and civilian personnel.
A physician must do no harm. Dr Kuklo disgraced himself, Washington University in St Louis School of Medicine, the medical profession, the army and Walter Reed Army Medical Center that frankly needs to reexamine its monitoring of rogue physicians. It also revealed that “Pay to Fake” is alive and well in our wonderful health care system when big pharma pay physicians big bucks to promote and market their products.
The wild west show of American medicine in which only a privileged few get health care while 46-50,000,000 are utterly unprotected in case of illness cannot stand. The Kuklo case is merely one of many symptoms of institutional disease which while not unknown with socialised medicine, would at least not be as prevalent when caring and not profiting becomes the institutional norm THROUGHOUT the medical industry.
But questions remain:
Will the University of Connecticut School of Medicine revoke his medical degree?
Will the dishonest physician researcher lose his medical license?
Will he be prosecuted by the army for misusing his research, failing to adhere to military regulations concerning publication and being on the payroll without transparency?
Will he be sued by his false claimed co-researchers whose names the colonel forged on the article’s submission to the Journal of Bone and Spine Surgery?
Will Washington University in St Louis continue to enjoy its lofty reputation without holding some of their administrators accountable for the egregious lack of supervision, foot-dragging investigation and utter lack of public remorse for this egregious display of criminality and venal materialism?
Will Doctor Timothy Kuklo ever address this issue publicly or will he continue his stony silence? Perhaps he should; perhaps he should not. His lawyer obviously has counseled against any public statement but honour and ethics might induce him to display some contrition since his former elite status in military medicine should entail some sense of responsibility to younger medical researchers and students.
My father who taught at the medical school for some thirty years would have been shocked at this scandal but would want the university to publicly reemphasise its commitment to medical ethics, display humility that this was a disgraceful stain on its reputation and work with full transparency in improving its tenure practices of new hires, monitor more carefully Big Pharma’s role in its funding and research practices and recommit itself in pursuing his role and destiny and mission: to help the sick and keep the healthy well.
Previous entries on Colonel Doctor Timothy R. Kuklo
July 15, 2009 A.W.O.L. Speculation
May 17, 2009 Dr Riew first critiqued
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