Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Benefits of Plagiarism: M.D. Version

One of the benefits of plagiarism is you don't have to work hard to do it. It's easy to visit the Internet, and using any number of search engines, type in the title of an article that you would write if you had time. Let's use the phrase "the benefits of a colonoscopy" as an example.
Once an article by that title pops up in your search engine results, you don't even have to retype it to disguise your pilfering. Just change the byline to suit -- don't forget to personalize the "About the author" name at the end, and, voila! "Your" article is prepped and ready for insertion into local newspapers -- as sort of a free ad for your practice.

The master model of this method of "medical journalism" is practiced at the busy Sun Coast Media Group.

The medical tab editors of "Feeling Fit" over at the Lake Placid Journal are happy to not examine copy too closely. Editors are too busy assembling a once-a-week issue to fuss about the ethical lapse of stealing someone else's work. After all, busy editors must occasionally cut corners, and journalistic oversight is pretty much optional at SCMG. And, in the end, the benefit of plagiarism is it saves everyone the time and effort it takes to be honest with the reader and treat the community with respect.


  1. Feeling Fit is not a medical publication and its writers don't practice medical journalism. Just because there are stories about or by doctors doesn't make it medical. It's a health and wellness tab and should be referred to as such. It reports healthcare journalism. Medical publications are peer-reviewed journals like JAMA and other professional publications where research articles, studies and similar stories are published.

  2. @Old Hack: Oh, my! This carefully construed definition makes it ETHICAL to SIGN YOUR NAME to a "report" you DID NOT WRITE! Your carefully parsed definition DEFINES that it's ETHICAL OK to tell readers what you copied off the Internet IS YOUR OWN WORK??!! SunCoast Media Group needs you! You've got one part right: "HACK"

  3. I'm not quite sure how you've drawn that conclusion. Plagiarism is never acceptable -- in any form. (It's especially disturbing coming from a medical professional.) I meant the tab should not bill itself (or be referred to) as a medical publication when it clearly is not. If it's referred to as anything, it's technically a health and wellness tab. And even that definition is pushing it.