Fake it until you make it, or until you get caught — 8 key notes on people posing as MDs

Broadly takes a look into people who have fooled countless patients, feigning to be physicians when they lack the necessary educational background and certification.

Here are eight key notes:

1. Teenager Malachi Love-Robinson made headlines this past winter after posing as "Dr. Robinson." After Mr. Love-Robinson gave a physical exam and advice to an undercover officer, police arrested the teen. Mr. Love-Robinson allegedly tricked patients through a website and biography, in which he called himself a "well-rounded professional" who used psychotherapy, electrotherapy and other techniques to treat patients.

2. Mr. Love-Robinson's trial was slated to begin this past September, but is being postponed until November to give the teen's lawyer sufficient time to see if an insanity defense is viable. The court ordered Mr. Love-Robinson to undergo a mental health evaluation, and the results led his lawyer to explore the option of a defense centered on the teen's mental state.

3. In India, police are continually arresting unqualified medics, posing as physicians. However, due to the large number of 'quacks,' a charity, Liver Foundation, is trying to train these individuals in primary medical care. The charity is facing backlash with some claiming the charity's actions are doing the public a disservice.

4. Mr. Love-Robinson is one of many people, such as Nora Zakardas, a fake psychiatrist in Australia, tricking patients for years. Ms. Zakardas conducted medical examinations, wrote prescriptions and provided medical expertise to friends and family members. Ms. Zakardas' physician allowed her to sit in on patient examinations and access other patients' medical records.

5. Broadly reports the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency has successfully prosecuted nearly 17 unregistered practitioners since 2014, and the agency has eight pending cases before the courts.

6. Psychiatrist Danny Sullivan, MD, says fake physicians typically only perform a couple simple procedures as to not draw attention to their lack of skills. However, as they gain confidence and time passes, they may start performing more complex procedures. Dr. Sullivan told Broadly, "So, if they're successful, it's because they've started off as reasonably humble, and then only gradually ramped up what they're doing." He also notes these people will often work with non-English speaking patients.

7. These fake physicians often see themselves as "heroes" with many pulling the scheme to gain some type of recognition. Dr. Sullivan notes some may suffer from an undiagnosed mental illness or have "personality difficulties."

8. Medical boards strongly encourage new patients to look into whether their physician is a registered medical practitioner. However, most patients assume if someone is practicing, they have been approved.

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