California man busted for impersonating doctor, "treating" cancer and infections for years, say prosecutors

Originally published at: California man busted for impersonating doctor, "treating" cancer and infections for years, say prosecutors | Boing Boing


The irony is that if he had called himself a “holistic practitioner” or some such woo, there would have been no issue for him. That it took years and thousands of patients to catch onto his shtick is truly maddening.


Stephan Gevorkian “treated” thousands of patients — some with serious conditions such as viral infections and cancer — from his Pathways Medical office in North Hollywood, according to NBC News. Until, that is, an undercover investigator impersonated a patient and blew his cover. The good dokter has since lost his fake license and now faces “five felony counts of practicing medicine without certification.”

Hopefully that’s “five felony counts” so far. If he “treated” thousands of patients, shouldn’t that be at least a couple hundred charges (assuming statute of limitations issues, inability to contact the victims, and victims choosing not to testify for whatever reason)?


the man’s name is Gevorkian?!
not sure i would consider seeing “Dr.” Gevorkian. sounds a little to close to that one doctor who was the last doctor several people would have seen.
no, thank you, “Dr.” Gevorkian.


I wonder if he settled into the role and started to feel good about “helping” people and accepting their respect and thanks, only to remember at the end of the day that he was, in fact, simply stealing from and slowly murdering them… only to do it all over again the next day. Maybe he even thought he really WAS helping them (after all, how hard can doing doctor stuff possibly be?) and gave his ego more priority than reality.

Or, more likely, he just cruelly laughed and counted his money without a trace of compassion, guilt or self-doubt.


Even if he called himself a “lifestyle coach” the government takes a dim view of anyone giving medical advice who isn’t a doctor, so they have to phrase their statements carefully. I highly recommend the nonfiction book If It Sounds Like a Quack by Matthew Holgoltz-Hetling, which follows the extralegal exploits of a number of “alternative health” practitioners, including the laser-treatment guy, the drink-bleach guy, a pray-it-better couple (who tragically failed to recognize their daughter’s diabetic coma), the leech lady, and others! The gist of the whole snake-oil movement today is that people have the freedom to ignore medical advice and seek whatever crazy treatment they choose, even if there’s no clinical proof of efficacy. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of this “freedom” is that they undermine belief in actual medical science for their own profit, much like the freedom to choose a barely-accredited faith-based school drains dollars and credibility from real schools.

1 Like

I am very familiar with the quack practices. Naturopaths, homeopaths and chiropractors are quite free to practice their “medicine” with precious little oversight, despite loads of evidence that it is bogus. Faith healers, crystal peddlers, chakra adjusters, whatever. As long as you don’t call yourself a physician, you are good.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.