This story from our archives is what can happen when references are checked but the results ignored. A few years ago, we were asked to check reference on a physician being considered for a staff position with an area hospital. All the references with whom we spoke were actual colleagues of the candidate while he was in a group private practice. All three references with whom we spoke reported that the candidate had a drug problem, that he was undergoing weekly psychiatric care, and that they would not practice with him again under any circumstances! At most, they said, he might be able to function as an ER physician, but only if very closely supervised.
We submitted our reference report; and, believe it or not, the hospital hired him anyway! Within six months, the state police arrested this physician and led him away from the hospital in handcuffs for writing phony prescriptions for huge quantities of amphetamines and barbiturates. The out-of-pocket cost to the hospital for ignoring the information in our reference report, not to mention the damage to the hospital’s reputation in the community, was over $100,000.
There’s not much point in checking references if the results are ignored.