Two University of Missouri doctors committed plagiarism in a medical research paper published this year in the American Journal of the Medical Sciences, according to an apology published Thursday by the journal.
The journal retracted the article about irregular heart beats written by Dr. Amar Jadhav and Dr. Anand Chockalingam of the MU medical school after discovering it "plagiarized significant aspects" of another article published in the journal Heart in 2006.
Jadhav and Chockalingam remain employees while under investigation by the university, according to a school spokesman.
"Should evidence be found to warrant further action, the case will be referred to the MU Standing Committee on Research Responsibility. Researchers found to have committed research misconduct, such as plagiarism, are subject to discipline including termination," said Christian Basi, in an emailed statement.
Chockalingam is an assistant professor of clinical medicine and Jadhav is a resident in cardiology, according to the school's website. A third author of the article, Apeksha Ingole, is affiliated with a medical school in India.
Jadhav was issued his medical license in July by the Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts. Chockalingam has been licensed since 2006. Neither has a discipline record with the state board.
The editor of the medical sciences journal said the similarities between the two papers are "obvious and significant," according to the blog Retraction Watch, which first reported the incident.
The retraction marks the latest problem for the MU medical school, already under a federal fraud investigation for illegal billing by two radiologists. Dr. Kenneth Rall and Dr. Michael Richards were dismissed in May after an internal audit found they had billed Medicare for services that were performed by residents, doctors who receive specialty training in the three to seven years after medical school.
At the time, the school's dean, Dr. Robert Churchill, announced his plans to step down in October after less than three years in the position.
Churchill was brought on as dean in October 2009 after the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education placed the school's residency programs on probation. The council cited a lack of funds and poor record-keeping as reasons for the probation, an action it hands down to only a few schools each year.
The council also criticized the school for allowing medical residents to take on noneducational duties such as scheduling patient appointments.
The school's probation ended in 2010.