Going to the doctor can be a stressful experience. Patients may be afraid of hearing bad news. Other patients may be embarrassed when the doctor has to perform an examination of their body. A doctor with a professional approach, and calming bedside manner can go a long way to making the patient feel more comfortable. However, any comfort may disappear when the patient discovers the doctor performing an examination is not a real doctor.
A number of former patients of a Chicago clinic are filing a lawsuit against the clinic after one of their therapists turned out to be a man posing as a psychologist. Scott Curtis Redman allegedly stole Dr. Julian Lopez-Garcia's identity and was posing as a psychologist to prescribe and dispense controlled substances. During the 2 months Redman worked at the clinic, he wrote more than 70 prescriptions to 44 patients while posing as a doctor.
The most recognizable story in recent news involved the Florida teenager who posed as a licensed doctor. 18-year-old Malachi Love-Robinson opened a West Palm Beach office, the New Birth New Life Medical Center & Urgent Care. When undercover authorities went in, posing as a patient, Love-Robinson performed a physical exam and offered his medical services. He was arrested and charged with practicing medicine without a license.
Dr. Catherine J. Hunter is a pediatric surgeon in Chicago. Katinca Hunter, on the other hand, is not a doctor. However, according to police, Katinca Hunter stole Dr. Hunter's identity and DEA number to open a clinic in Boerne, Texas. After it was discovered Katinca was posing as a doctor and prescribing medication, a warrant was issued for her arrest.
"Although the drugs she was prescribing may have appeared benign, everything has complications,” said the real Dr. Hunter. “She is a complete fraud. It does appear that she was preying on patients with end-stage cancer diagnosis, a particularly vulnerable population."
Doctor Hunter could see that Katinca's alleged education, biography, and degrees didn't add up. “I doubt there would be any human on this planet that would have that particular array of degrees,” said Dr. Hunter, “because they don't necessarily go together. Nor are they possible to obtain within that time frame.” However, patients may not be able to so easily see the fraud.
In England, a woman spent hours walking around a hospital on multiple occasions, posing as a doctor. 30-year-old Sarah Caine dressed up in scrubs, had a stethoscope hanging around her neck, and carried a medical clipboard while wandering the hospital in areas that are closed to the public. When nurses, doctors, and other medical staff talked to her, she claimed she was a doctor and was there as part of her training. She stole medical equipment and official hospital forms to use as part of her cover. She was let off with a fine and a warning because she had not attempted to provide medical treatment or issue prescriptions.
If you or a loved one was injured by a medical mistake, you may have a claim against your healthcare provider for the damages suffered. A medical malpractice claim may allow you to recover monetary damages for your medical bills, pain, and suffering. At Gilman & Bedigian we have been fighting for medical malpractice victims for decades, with a focus on getting you the compensation you deserve, so you can get better and move forward with your life.