February’s Internet sensation, at least where I hang out, was Malachi Love-Robinson, the 18-year-old boy arrested in Florida for fraud and practicing medicine without a license.
This wasn’t his first rodeo. Last year I wrote about his month-long stint posing as a doctor in a West Palm Beach hospital. When finally unmasked, he was in an exam room with a gynecologist and a pregnant woman. That time he wasn’t charged with a crime.
Armed with a PhD from an unnamed online university and board certifications from both the American Alternative Medical Association and the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, he opened the New Birth New Life Holistic and Alternative Medical Center and Urgent Care either late last year or in January.
“Like the obstetrician in whose examining room the boy was discovered last year, I am amazed that this happened again.”
After a complaint from an elderly woman who he had examined at her home and told to go to the hospital, the Florida Department of Health sent a female undercover agent to his office. After a physical examination, he told her there was nothing wrong with her. He then was arrested and later released on $21,000 bail.
The lad isn’t merely a PhD. He says he has a Psy D, an MD, and the following degrees: HHP-C and AMP-C. Both Google and I don’t know what those two stand for.
His grandfather was interviewed and said the boy never claimed he was an MD, but the list of degrees on his office door contradicts that.
According to the Sun Sentinel, Love-Robinson is also an “up-and-coming minister” at New Birth Outreach Ministries, a church where his grandfather is pastor.
He obtained a National Provider Identifier (NPI number) so he could bill Medicaid and Medicare and had a 5-star rating on Healthgrades, but the sample included only two reviews. Like all online reviews, their veracity could not be determined.
The kid is an accomplished con man. To appreciate this, you should take a look at the video clips in the Palm Beach Post and Washington Post stories. The “doctor” is composed, articulate, and glib well beyond his years.
The woman who complained to the health department said he took three of her checks, wrote them to himself, and cashed them. That allegation is being investigated.
Love-Robinson’s response was “When a patient goes to (investigators) and tells them I wrote a prescription for a controlled substance, then they can come and find me. Until then, they can keep their accusations to themselves.”
I have two reactions to this crazy story.
Like the obstetrician in whose examining room the boy was discovered last year, I am amazed that this happened again.
I am also amazed that anyone would pretend to be a doctor when medicine is being beaten up regularly by the media and politicians.
Now that the movie Spotlight won the Oscar for Best Picture, Love-Robinson should consider upgrading to a better career—posing as a journalist.
Skeptical Scalpel is a retired surgeon and was a surgical department chairman and residency program director for many years. He is board-certified in general surgery and critical care and has re-certified in both several times. He blogs at SkepticalScalpel.blogspot.com and tweets as @SkepticScalpel.