Via NY Times– A teenager in South Florida who was advertising his health care services had certifications in holistic healthcare. He had lab coats and a stethoscope. He even had a medical office.
What the 18-year-old Malachi A. Love-Robinson didn’t have, officials say, is a medical degree.
On Tuesday, Mr. Love-Robinson was accused of practicing medicine without a license after officials said he was caught performing a physical exam and offering medical advice to an undercover agent. The episode is the latest in a series of encounters with law enforcement dating back to early 2015 as Mr. Love-Robinson tried time and again to portray himself as a doctor.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that Mr. Love-Robinson managed to open and operate his own office, called New Birth New Life Medical Center & Urgent Care, in a building populated by medical and dentistry offices in West Palm Beach, complete with a grand-opening celebration held in January.
In Florida, practicing medicine without a license is a third-degree felony. Mr. Love-Robinson was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.
Brad Dalton, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Health, said in an interview that a tip from the public had led to the investigation and arrest of Mr. Love-Robinson. The tipster told the authorities that “a person who was portraying himself as a 25-year-old doctor was actually an 18-year-old,” Mr. Dalton said.
Reached by phone, Mr. Love-Robinson said Wednesday that he had been forced to close his office and called the charges against him “gut wrenching.”
I’m not trying to hurt people,” he said. “I’m just a young black guy who opened up a practice who is trying to do some good in the community. If that is a negative thing, we have a lot more work to do in the community than to single out me.”
He said that the undercover agent who posed as a patient came in complaining of an itchy throat. Mr. Love-Robinson took her weight, checked her breathing and checked her temperature, then recommended she visit a local pharmacy for allergy medication.
“There were no scripts given,no medical advice given.”
Mr. Love-Robinson said that he had received a Ph.D. in another field from a “private Christian university,” but he refused to name the institution or the field in which he received the degree.
He also said that he was certified to provide alternative health care.
That certificate was provided by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, a group for holistic health professionals including herbalists and other so-called drug-free practitioners. The organization approved Mr. Love-Robinson’s application after reviewing copies of degrees and diplomas sent by mail, according to the group’s director, Donald Rosenthal.
Mr. Rosenthal said that the credential, which has been issued to some 21,000 people, does not allow for people to diagnose or treat medical conditions.
“We tell them that all they can do is consult and educate,” Mr. Rosenthal said, adding that applicants must sign a disclosure saying they understand that the certification does not substitute for the skills of a medical doctor.
Pretty impressive for an 18 year old! Wondering if anyone helped him open his practice. It just seems too complex of a scam for an 18 year old to pull this off alone. What do you think?
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