Beware of the fake doctors.

By: Taren Vaughan

Being a doctor is one of the most challenging yet rewarding jobs in the health care industry. Having the ability to save a person’s life and set an example for those future doctors coming after you is something anyone should be proud of. The number of years of schooling and training makes becoming a physician not an easy task at all for one to achieve. If that’s the case, how is it possible to obtain a license without taking a single class? Believe it or not, one man actually managed to pull this off.

“Doctor” Edward Birts of Houston, Texas recently pleaded guilty to health care fraud, grossing over $1 million from government funded agencies. Mr. Birts falsely claimed to have a doctorate degree in behavioral psychology, which he purchased via the Internet, and actually gave advice to his patients. His actions will land him a possible ten years in the slammer. Did Mr. Birts really have to go to the extent of lying about his degree? What’s wrong with just going to school like everyone else?

It’s already bad enough that we can barely trust these billion dollar insurance companies. Must we be deceived by our doctors too? I know we are in a recession and people are taking desperate measures to earn an income. But posing as a phony doctor just takes the cake.

This goes to show you that a piece of paper does not make you a legitimate doctor. Furthermore, it doesn’t prove what kind of doctor you are. Are you ethical in your practices? Do you truly care about the health and well being of your patients? Anybody with proper academic qualifications can go to medical school or enter into a doctorate program. For that matter, anyone can claim doctor status. We can clearly see that from this incident in Houston. But by no means is everyone a GOOD doctor.

Good doctors are those who take the time to actually earn their degrees and not simply pose as such. They show true compassion and dedication to their service to their patients and their respective field. Being a doctor is a huge responsibility that should not be taken lightly. What if it came down to that individual really having to step in a safe a person’s life? They would not have a clue as to what to do for the person because guess what? They aren’t a real doctor. Crooked doctors not only affect their patients. But they affect the reputation of the credible doctors out there. The legit doctors work too hard to have individuals like these ruin their good name.
So when you are in search of a new physician, you may want to do some thorough investigating first. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, enough so that you feel comfortable with this person. Whatever steps you feel that you need to take to ensure that your doctor is not just “playing doctor”, do what you need to do. After all, this is your health we are talking about here. There are millions of wonderful physicians out there but there are also those phonies who are looking to get over on an unsuspecting patient. Remember, just because their name tag reads “Dr.” does not mean that they are the real deal.

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