M V Tronson, Chairman of Well-Being Australia, notes that this occurs from time to time. The media have recently revealed so many sordid details of fake doctors being involved in surgery or writing prescriptions, that after a while the public may think, 'ho-hum', not again.
He speculates that it is not difficult to get copies of 'certificates' that look genuine, to put on surgery wall; moreover, for a few dollars from some so called US Educational Institutions, you can purchase on-line, almost any degree you want, with a logo that could resemble, if you wished, the "Iron Cross with Oak Leaves".
In the recently reported case, the man posing as a doctor received a conditional registration from the NT Medical Board in May last year. The board did not cross-check a certified copy of the man's medical degree with the University of Adelaide, which is where he claimed he earned his degree. Board chairman Dr Charles Kilburn said the documents appeared genuine and his staff followed all protocols.
Mark Tronson remembers the black-and-white movies of his youth, with Dirk Bogart and other comic actors playing larrikin trainee doctors, seemingly with 'no idea' of what they were doing, but being 'assumed' to be the 'real thing'.
These images come to his mind when he thinks of how these bogus doctors can 'get away with it'. He thinks that it can't be too difficult for someone who looks the part to be considered the part.
He recalls another situation in the early eighties, when (as a Chaplain) he was visiting the sick in hospital, an occasion shortly after his successful theological doctoral dissertation. To celebrate this milestone, one of his colleagues, smilingly acknowledged him as Doctor (as in Ph.D.) and the nurse a little distance away overheard, and called "Dr Tronson" over so she could start her rounds.
There are many situations whereby people masquerade themselves as something they are not. This is not difficult to do. How many so called 'unlicensed' builders are the public warned about (as in the recent case of 'shonky' insulation installers); unqualified 'advisers' in the financial industry who sell scams of one sort or another to gullible investors who have precious little to lose?
The Apostle Paul warns over and over and over again about those who masquerade as Christian teachers without the truth of the Grace of Jesus Christ's 'once for all' death on the Cross; shedding His blood for our Salvation.
While fake doctors may take liberties with diagnoses and even scripts, fake Bible teachers play their dramas with eternal matters. Herein lies an even greater danger.
Again, it is not that difficult to masquerade as a preacher. Many with inadequate theological training (or none at all) start up new churches in suburbia under the guise of some newly-created denominational group.
M V Tronson recalls an astonishing recent occasion. A twenty-something Pentecostal preacher exclaimed to M V Tronson that he (this twenty something preacher) was an 'Apostle' !
M V Tronson thought to himself, that after 30 years he remained a lowly Baptist faithful servant preacher of the Lord's Salvation. Perhaps it was time, he thought, to pay a few dollars to one of those US degree-dispenser institutions and become an "Apostle with Oak Leaves".