Erasmus fires Poldermans over research misconduct

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Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, has dismissed Donald Poldermans, MD, PhD, who was previously professor of medicine and head of the section of perioperative cardiac care, because of a "violation of academic integrity."

“Research carried out under his leadership was not always performed in accordance with current scientific standards,” the provider said in a statement. “An inquiry committee on academic integrity concluded that the professor was careless in collecting the data for his research. In one study, it was found that he used patient data without written permission, used fictitious data and that two reports were submitted to conferences which included knowingly unreliable data.”

The medical center stated that Poldermans “agrees with the committee’s conclusions and expressed his regret for his actions. Poldermans feels that as an experienced researcher he should have been more accurate but states that his actions were unintentional.”

The study that gave rise to the inquiry committee having to take action focused on the health of patients who had to undergo surgery. The aim of the study was to identify which factors can contribute to being able to better estimate the risks.

Poldermans received his medical degree at Erasmus in 1981. His postgraduate training included internships and residencies in internal medicine, infectious diseases, intensive care medicine and vascular medicine at Erasmus.

He is board certified in internal medicine, intensive care medicine and vascular medicine. He is a fellow of the European Society of Cardiology and an honorary member of the Dutch Society of Anesthesiology.

He has published more than 380 manuscripts in several peer-reviewed journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Journal of the American Medical Association, Circulation and Journal of the American College of Cardiology. His areas of research include identification and treatment of patients at cardiovascular risk prior, during and after surgery.

There were no medical implications for the patients who took part in the studies under investigation. However, Erasmus said it will seek to inform the patients concerned personally and apologize to them.