This occurs surprisingly frequently. Someone masqueraded themselves as a doctor. In this particular case the fake doctor worked at the Alice Springs Hospital in the Northern Territory.
The media from time to time alert us all to the sordid details of fake doctors being involved in surgery or writing prescriptions, that after a while the public may think, 'ho-hum', not again.
The News.com article (cited below) 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.
I remember 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 'assuming' 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.
An astonishing recent occasion, a twenty-something Pentecostal preacher exclaimed to that he (this twenty something preacher) was an 'Apostle'!
I thought to myself, after 42 years I have remained a lowly Baptist faithful servant preacher of the Lord's Salvation. Perhaps it was time, to pay a few dollars to one of those US degree-dispenser institutions and become an "Apostle with Oak Leaves".
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html