Society and Culture
Florida Teen Who Pretended to Be a Doctor Won’t Face Charges
Remember when Neil Patrick Harris played Doogie Howser, M.D in the early 90s? A teenager who was so brilliant that he had gone through medical school and was practicing medicine by age 14, but also went through two occurrences of pediatric cancer.
Recently a 17-year-old boy in Florida posed as a doctor for about a month without anyone even noticing. According to reports, a patient at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach informed staff that a juvenile was dressed in a lab coat and was inside an OB/GYN exam room. The young man was not in the exam room alone, he was with a patient and another doctor. My first question is why did this other doctor allow him in the room? Shouldn’t the real doctor know the other doctors in the department? If I were that patient I would feel really violated and consider suing the hospital.
I’ve spent my fair share of time with doctors and whenever one has someone tag along at an appointment, he introduces me and explains why the other doctor is in the room with us. It’s usually an intern or a new doctor to the department who is being trained to work with patients. This was not one of those instances, this was no Doogie Howser!
The mother of the young man posing as a doctor states that her son is under the care of a doctor but is not taking his medication; his illness is undisclosed.
Police in West Palm Beach have opted not to charge the young man with anything. Not much information can be released due to the boy’s age and I am sure there is a great reason for not charging him but I would certainly have an issue with that hospital.
What’s even more interesting is that another 17 year old, Matthew Scheidt, was charged and found guilty of impersonating a physician’s assistant and practicing medicine without a license back in 2012, also in Florida. That teen was convicted and faces up to 25 years in prison.
In both situations the teenage boys were said to have mental illness, so why did one get off scot-free and the other didn’t?