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Next time you’re looking to see a new physician to get your body together, you might want to do some research on that person. Because based on the story I’m about to tell you, that so-called doctor could be a random man or woman perpetrating as a physician, and the same way you wouldn’t want a random man on the street to “check your pulse” (aka, have an excuse to be all on  your chest), you wouldn’t want a fake doctor to do the same.

In this real-life scenario, Ernest Addo of Austell, South Carolina. is accused of stealing the ID of a colleague and using it in order to get work at clinics in the state. Addo, a Ghanaian man, did have a little bit of medical training, but he clearly didn’t have enough to become a licensed physician in the United States. So, when his friend, a doctor by the name of Arthur Kennedy, teamed up with Addo in the hopes that they could work together to open a clinic in the near future, Addo pounced. Paperwork necessary to do so was filled out by Kennedy and Addo stole all of the papers, got himself an ID, and went ahead, assuming Kennedy’s identity. With Dr. Kennedy’s good reputation, credentials and recommendations, Addo was hired at a few senior centers and rehabilitation clinics in the state.

Addo seemed smooth enough with patients to keep most people from becoming suspicious, but the jig was up when a nurse began to worry after she found that he had used Ask.com to figure out how to treat a patient. Yeah, you read that right. And the last straw came when he made a mistake on a death certificate. When the REAL Dr. Kennedy was contacted by medical officials about it, he was highly confused. Why? Well, because he said he hadn’t practiced in the States in a year because since had been in Ghana teaching at medical school. According to the AP, Addo could face about 10 years in prison for his bad deeds, and authorities are looking into whether his work, or lack thereof with patients, could have caused them any harm. He had seen more than 500 in the time the real Dr. Kennedy was out of the country, and according to investigators, a few of the patients had passed.

If you were wondering, Addo wasn’t operating on anyone, but instead, he just did regular family doctor-esque exams on patients. However, he also had the chance to write up prescriptions, and some of them were written out for himself. Some of the clinics he worked at have come forward to say that their patients are fine, including the Agape Senior Primary Care Center:

“We have found no inappropriate diagnosis or plan of treatment. We are convinced that all of our patients are safe and receiving proper care.”

According to AP, Dr. Kennedy says his former friend not only tarnished his reputation and put people’s lives at risk, but he also opened credit cards in his name. Addo has been charged with unlawful practice of medicine and obtaining goods under false pretense. The man has a history of money troubles, even declaring bankruptcy twice. If anything, it’s clear that Addo did all of this in the hopes of getting some money in his pockets (and the chance to drive a Benz which was provided through one of the clinics). Either way, the fact that he was able to see more than 500 people and utilize weak websites like Ask.com (no disrespect to them) to work on and with them, now that’s a scary thing…

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