Sure Signs Your Doctor is a Quack

By William Thomas


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Florida - where people come in three types:  aged, odd, and severely whacked - was back in the news recently.  State motto: "In God we trust.  The rest of you make us very, very afraid."

Recently, police in Broward County, Florida, arrested a man impersonating a doctor who was going door-to-door, in the Lauderdale Lakes neighbourhood outside Miami, offering free breast examinations to women.

The man offered his services to two women in their 30s who lived in separate apartments at the same housing complex. With an eye for a bargain, each woman agreed to the free check-up, but when the examination strayed off-course, both called the Broward County Sheriff's office. The not-so-good doctor's scam started to come apart at the "jump up and down" procedure.

The "moc doc" carried a little black bag and claimed he was making visitations on behalf of a nearby hospital (probably Peewee Herman Memorial). He is 76 years old and looks like Marcus Welby's fatter brother Phil.

Although he was described in the news report as "elderly," in Florida, 76-year-olds come under the category of "middle-aged." In Florida, a woman of 50 is sometimes referred to as "jail bail." Philip Winikoff, who is married to a nurse, was arrested just down the street from the women's apartments and charged with assault.

Unfortunately, feeble minds glam on to weird ideas and "Doctor Phil" will not be the last of the phoney physicians making their residential rounds. There will be copycats, because there always are.

Here then, are some sure signs that the man at your door with the little black medical bag is definitely not a doctor:

* This man claims to be a doctor and he's making a house call?!?! HULLO!

* When he opens his medical bag, two white doves fly out.

* He's wearing what appears to be a white doctor's smock, but it ties up in the back with straps.

* The stethoscope in his pocket turns out not to be a stethoscope.

* When you turn down his offer of a free breast examination, he tries to sell you Amway Oven Cleaner.

* After the examination, instead of sending you to a clinic for blood work, he asks you out to dinner.

* In a strange switch of roles, the doctor asks you to put on the latex rubber gloves.

* While he's standing at your door, he gets into a "science versus God" debate with the Jehovah's Witness who's next in line.

* When you mention his timing is perfect because you've felt a lump yourself, he screams "Yuk!" and runs off down the hallway.

* After the examination, he offers you two Tylenols and a plane ticket to Las Vegas.

* You ask for ID and he produces a Costco card advertising 15 per cent off free breast examinations.

* He's wearing a button in support of Doctors Without Borders and Degrees.

* The initials on his bag are M.D., B.A., and T & A.

* When you ask to call his supervisor, he gives you the cell number for Nurse Nancy.

* He's wearing motorized running shoes that get up to 50 kilometres per hour on carpeting.

* When you ask about a mammogram, he drops to one knee and does an Al Jolson impersonation.

* When you ask him his name, he says he can't tell you because it would contravene patient/doctor privacy laws.

* When you ask about lymph nodes, he pops a blue pill that looks an awful lot like Viagra.

* When you ask him for references, he flashes a photo of himself with President George Bush, signed, "You're doing a heck of a job, Doc."

* You question his credentials, and he produces a photo of Pamela Anderson clipped from US Magazine.

* You offer him an apple but he will not go away.

* And finally, you know the man at the door with the medical bag is not a real doctor because although the button on his jacket says "Ob/Gyn," he's not wearing pants.

 SENIOR LIVING VANCOUVER - May 2009

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