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Dartmouth panel says professor plagiarized work; he denies it

August 23. 2018 11:09AM

HANOVER — An investigative panel concluded a well-known medical school professor at Dartmouth College plagiarized the work of a peer.

Dartmouth Interim Provost David Kotz wrote recently he had accepted the report of the Investigation Committee that found Dr. H. Gilbert Welch had lifted the work of Samir Soneji, an associate professor, as well as a fellow researcher for a 2016 article published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

The committee found Welch used the “ideas, process, results or words” of the pair “without giving them proper credit,” Kotz wrote.

“These actions represented a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community,” Kotz added in a letter to Soneji.

The other researcher who worked with Soneji was Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez, an associate professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Welch has issued a statement denying all the charges and maintained the paper at issue was a “natural progression” of his 20 years of work on efforts to detect cancer.

A professor of medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine, Welch is also an adjunct professor of business administration at the Tuck School of Business, and an adjunct professor of public policy at Dartmouth College.

Welch has been considered an internationally recognized expert who has written extensively about over diagnosis and the effects of medical screening, contending in his work that many doctors test too often and treat too aggressively.

He’s authored three books and written many articles on health care that have appeared in national media outlets.

The work that was alleged to be plagiarized found that breast cancer screening was more likely to over-diagnose tumors, which led to unnecessary treatments.

Up until 2011, Welch worked for 20 years on the medical staff of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction, Vt.

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