A years-long undercover operation ended last week with the arrests of over 45 medical students involved in a publication ring. Stacks of abstracts, posters, and a few manuscripts submitted to low-impact journals were confiscated during the raid, representing over 1,200 total lines on Curriculum Vitae for residency applications. Many of the publications had 10 or more students cited as contributors who had never spoken to anyone performing the research.
“This practice is actually not that uncommon,” admitted one of the agents, who has asked to remain anonymous to avoid threats from still overly-involved parents. “One student will make an abstract and throw a few friends’ names on there. Then those friends will return the favor. We’ve just never seen it on this scale.”
The ring, nicknamed “Gunner’s Circle,” included an estimated 50 students at over 5 medical schools.
“We typically see this type of thing with students going into ortho or neurosurg,” said the agent. “Interestingly, in this case it was almost all aspiring pediatricians.”
The ring was led by a still unidentified student known only as “The Practitioner.” Top level members arrested included James “P is for pubs” Patterson and Jake Sterling aka “Big MD.”
Several DEA agents went into deep cover as students to infiltrate the ring, providing valuable information on the inner workings of the organization at great risk to themselves. One agent has remained missing since her cover was blown, likely after expressing an interest in pathology.
With this operation brought to a close, the DEA is now looking to focus its attention on business students falsifying LinkedIn accounts.