Sham peer review

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Sham peer review is a growing problem in hospitals that misuse peer review to discipline and even exclude physicians from their medical staffs.[1] Sham peer review includes anticompetitive manipulation of peer review to eliminate popular physicians from the market, or to retaliate against physicians who are outspoken in favor of improved patient care.

Hospitals have incentives to conceal and cover up errors in order to avoid malpractice cases. Physicians are deterred from reporting errors out of fear of sham peer review. The Tampa Tribune reported that over 80 percent of a one-year's sample of a type of patient safety error was never reported to the state of Florida, even though reporting was required by law.[2]


  1. “Sham peer review is rampant. It threatens not only quality care for all of our patients, but the very integrity of the medical profession.” See Lawrence R. Huntoon, M.D., Ph.D., Sham Peer Review and the Courts, JOURNAL OF AMERICAN PHYSICIANS & SURGEONS, Volume 11, No. 1, Spring 2006, at 4-5, available at (last visited May 23, 2007).
  2. Tampa Tribune (12/28, Gentry)