Apparently, it’s because they lie about other things too. Two recent papers illustrate the point.
A group from the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston reviewed 243 applications to their gynecologic oncology fellowship and found the following:
Applicants listed over 400 articles published but only 83% of these could be verified. And 30% of applicants who listed published papers had at least one unverifiable paper.
Hard to believe, but male gender was statistically significantly more likely to be associated with the deception.
The results reported in the above paper were remarkably similar to those found with applicants to a general surgery residency program in a paper from 2008.
The authors, from Duke University, looked at almost 500 applications to their program. They found that of 596 publications listed, 33% could not be verified. And of the 150 applicants who listed publications, 33% had one or more unverifiable publications.
In this paper, factors associated with unverifiable publications were older applicants and graduation from a foreign medical school.
If these papers are accurate [Can we believe them or anything else? After all, the two papers were written by doctors.], inflating one’s curriculum vitae is very common.
It is no wonder that doctors lie to patients.