In medical malpractice news, people throughout the West Coast were shocked by news that an Oregon man had posed as a physician, even going so far as to schedule a surgical procedure.
According to reports from law enforcement officials, 21-year-old Lucas Ebert initially met an unidentified 45-year-old woman at the Portland VA Medical Center and scheduled a so-called "consultation" with her at a coffee shop near the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU).
Upon meeting with the woman, Ebert allegedly began advising her about abdominal surgery and providing medical advice. At this initial encounter, he also purportedly informed the woman that he was a second year plastic surgery resident, and wore both an OHSU identification badge and a vest that bore the hospital's name.
However, officials at OHSU eventually determined that the vest more than likely came from a gift shop while the identification badge - which did not grant Ebert any type of access to restricted areas - was likely an older, outdated badge.
Police reports indicate that the woman continued to meet with Ebert and was eventually informed by him that an abdominal surgery had been scheduled at OHSU. Furthermore, he purportedly ordered her to stop taking her pain medication and anti-anxiety medications in preparation for the operation.
However, the ruse soon ended after the woman turned up at OHSU asking about her scheduled surgery.
Once hospital officials could not locate a Dr. Lucas Ebert in their records, they initiated a full-scale investigation with the local police department.
Ebert was eventually found out and charged with practicing medicine without a license, criminal mistreatment and theft.
"I have been here 12 years, and I've never heard anything like this whatsoever," said OHSU spokesperson Jim Newman.
Interestingly, Ebert's Facebook profile lists a medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco. However, officials from that institution have since come forward to say they have no such student on record.
If you lost a loved one to what you believe was physician negligence or were seriously injured by a medical error, you should strongly consider contacting an experienced legal professional.
This post was for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal or medical advice. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.
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