Playing a real-life Doogie Howser, a teenage boy donning a white lab coat and stethoscope posed as a doctor at a hospital in Florida for at least a month.
Officers confronted the 17-year-old on Tuesday at St. Mary’s Medical Center, where the young man was still introducing himself as a doctor.
The phony rouse came undone when a patient alerted the staff that “a young black male who appeared to be a child was dressed as a doctor” and was still in a nearby examination room.
According to the police report, the imposter wore a white lab coat that included the St. Mary’s logo and the word “anesthesiology” embroidered on the front, a “stethoscope around his neck and a face mask.” The teenager was with an actual doctor, Sebastian Kent, while the latter conducted patient examinations, explained hospital workers familiar with the case. Though Kent, 63, initial claimed he had never seen the juvenile in the outpatient facility, he later noticed a handwritten message from the boy requested that he “shadow” the physician on his rounds.
One of the hospital’s security guards, Christian D’Amato, explained that the young man “is known around the hospital as a ‘doctor,’” and has been seen “entering patients rooms and talking to hospital employees.” D’Amato never asked the teenager whether he was an actual medical professional or an employee of the hospital.
The teen’s mother, as reported by the Sun Sentinel, told police that her son is “under the care of a doctor,” but may not have been taking the prescribed medicine.
After further investigation, Cops discovered a second hospital, the Good Samaritan Medical Center, was likely visited by the young man. The hospital’s director of security, Karen Kingsmill, reported spotting a “younger black male dressed as a doctor walking out of the Emergency Room entrance last week.” Kingsmill added that she “did not recognize him as being a doctor and thought it was suspicious he was hanging around near the ‘secured area’ doors.” Security footage revealed the suspect “walking around the Emergency Room lobby in a white lab coat” on January 7.
Though the boy was detained, the hospital officials and police have decided not to pursue charges at this time.