A Rutgers physician accused of 'ghost surgeries' will return — but with fewer responsibilities

Carly Behm -  

A neurosurgeon with Rutgers University's two medical schools in New Jersey is returning to work less than a year after he was put on leave amid allegations of professional misconduct, according to the university.

Anil Nanda, MD, was put on leave over allegations that he scheduled multiple surgeries, part of which other physicians performed, at New Brunswick-based Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, sources told nj.com in November. At the time, Dr. Nanda was head of neurosurgery at Robert Wood Johnson Johnson Medical School and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark. The practice where a surgeon performs a case on another physician's patient is sometimes called "ghost surgery."

Now, Rutgers is allowing him to work as a professor but at a lower salary and with no management roles, a university spokesperson told Becker's in an emailed statement Aug. 16. He previously earned a $2.2 million salary along with clinical revenue, but his salary now will be $494,671. Dr. Nanda was removed from his management and leadership roles at the medical schools in 2021 will not be restored to those positions. Upon his return, he also will be subject to supplemental training and supervision.

An investigation by former New Jersey Comptroller Matthew Boxer found there was not sufficient evidence to prove Dr. Nanda was not present for the most important part of two procedures, nj.com reported Aug. 16. Mr. Boxer's report said the cases were done by residents and that Dr. Nanda was present for "critical portions" of the surgeries.

Dr. Nanda's attorneys told nj.com that "the quality of the results of Dr. Nanda’s surgeries is the measuring stick by which he should be judged," and that it was undisputed that the results were excellent. … The report concludes that ghost surgeries never occurred."

Rutgers did not provide further details, citing threats of a lawsuit from Dr. Nanda's attorneys, the university told Becker's.

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