Thursday, February 18, 2016

Doogie Howser

A teenager in South Florida who was advertising his health care services had certifications in holistic healthcare. He had lab coats and a stethoscope. He even had a medical office.What the 18-year-old Malachi A. Love-Robinson didn’t have, officials say, is a medical degree.

On Tuesday, Mr. Love-Robinson was accused of practicing medicine without a license after officials said he was caught performing a physical exam and offering medical advice to an undercover agent. The episode is the latest in a series of encounters with law enforcement dating back to early 2015 as Mr. Love-Robinson tried time and again to portray himself as a doctor, officials said.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that Mr. Love-Robinson managed to open and operate his own office, called New Birth New Life Medical Center & Urgent Care, in a building populated by medical and dentistry offices in West Palm Beach, complete with a grand-opening celebration held in January.
In Florida, practicing medicine without a license is a third-degree felony. Mr. Love-Robinson was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday...
Reached by phone, Mr. Love-Robinson said Wednesday that he had been forced to close his office and called the charges against him “gut wrenching.”
“I’m not trying to hurt people,” he said. “I’m just a young black guy who opened up a practice who is trying to do some good in the community. If that is a negative thing, we have a lot more work to do in the community than to single out me.”
He said that the undercover agent who posed as a patient came in complaining of an itchy throat. Mr. Love-Robinson took her weight, checked her breathing and checked her temperature, then recommended she visit a local pharmacy for allergy medication.
“There were no scripts given,” he said, “no medical advice given.”
Mr. Love-Robinson said that he had received a Ph.D. in another field from a “private Christian university,” but he refused to name the institution or the field in which he received the degree.
He also said that he was certified to provide alternative health care...
That certificate was provided by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, a group for holistic health professionals including herbalists and other so-called drug-free practitioners. The organization approved Mr. Love-Robinson’s application after reviewing copies of degrees and diplomas sent by mail, according to the group’s director, Donald Rosenthal.
Mr. Rosenthal said that the credential, which has been issued to some 21,000 people, does not allow for people to diagnose or treat medical conditions.
But this week’s episode was not the first time he was accused of portraying himself as a medical doctor. Last October, he was arrested after he was accused of spending about three weeks practicing medicine without a license at New Directions, a treatment office specializing in addiction recovery, in Boynton Beach, Fla., Mr. Dalton, the spokesman for the Florida Department of Health, said.
Mr. Dalton added that the teenager was also taken into custody as a minor in January 2015 after he spent several weeks walking the halls of St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach wearing a lab coat and a stethoscope, an episode reported at the time by The Palm Beach Post.
The newspaper reported that Mr. Love-Robinson’s mother said the teenager was suffering from an illness and refused to take medication. Mr. Love-Robinson’s illness was not disclosed...
As he moved throughout the area attempting to practice medicine, according to the authorities, Mr. Love-Robinson appeared to maintain profiles on several websites allowing for consumer reviews to build up his reputation. On, his specializations were listed as naturopathy and psychology.
On his profile on the National Provider Identifier Database his offered treatments included minor and orificial surgery. He was listed as a student in a health care training program, but his profile on the database didn’t contain any information about which schools he attended.
“I value my practice skills which include great communication skills as well as timely and prompt care,” his biography on Healthgrades said. “I am a strong believer that patients in general are the strongest medical tools there is.”


  1. Mr. Love-Robinson played physician at St. Mary's for a month before he was ousted by Sebastian Kent, MD, an OB/GYN whose office is on the St. Mary's campus. Dr. Kent was shocked to learn Mr. Love-Robinson had been caught posing as a physician for a second time. "I've been in practice for 36 years, this is the first time something like this has happened," Dr. Kent told the Sun Sentinel. "It's very strange. Very, very strange."

    The website for Mr. Love-Robinson's fake medical practice, New Birth Life Holistic and Alternative Medical Center and Urgent Care, touted a string of degrees including PhD an "HHP-C" and an "AMP-C." In paperwork for the business, his title is Dr. Malachi Love-Robinson, and he is listed as CEO, according to the report.

    Mr. Love-Robinson has a five-star rating on, based on two reviews. The website lists his age as 25 and says he has three specialties: naturopathy, psychology and mental health.

  2. On Tuesday, the wannabe Doogie Howser conducted a physical exam on a woman at his “holistic and alternative medical care” clinic. After taking her temperature, blood pressure and listening to her lungs with a stethoscope, he sagely assured her that she was not in fact sick, she told WPBF.

    Then he was arrested.

    The woman was an undercover agent with the Palm Beach Narcotics Task Force, which, along with the Florida Department of Health, started investigating Love-Robinson after getting a complaint from one of his purported patients. The teen is now being held at the Palm Beach County Jail on a $21,000 bond and is charged with practicing medicine without a license, theft and four counts of fraud.

    It’s not clear how many patients Love-Robinson had seen before his arrest, but his clinic was open for at least three months.

    This isn’t the first time that Love-Robinson has been caught with a white coat and stethoscope. Last winter, police in Palm Beach got a call from St. Mary’s Medical Center saying that a young man who “appeared to be a child” was inside an exam room, according to the Orlando Sun Sentinel. The boy had a lab coat embroidered with the St. Mary’s Logo and the word “anesthesiology,” and a security guard said that he was known around the hospital as a doctor, though he looked far too young to have undergone a combined total 12 years of college, medical school and a residency.

    Sebastian Kent, an obstetrician-gynecologist whose office is on the medical center’s grounds, saw the teenager in his exam room; he introduced himself as “Dr. Robinson.”

    “The first thing I thought was … ‘I am really getting old because these young doctors look younger every year,” he told WSBTV last year.

    This guy can schmooze his way around, he can tell any story you want to hear,” Kent told the Sun-Sentinel. “That’s what he tried to do with me — he tried to ingratiate himself with me so I would take him around, and after a while it started to not make sense to me. I thought something was wrong.”

    He called security, who called the police, who took the boy away in handcuffs, according to WSBTV. The teenager was detained and questioned but ultimately not charged.
    Then, in October, authorities got word that Love-Robinson was at it again. Authorities sent him a cease-and-desist letter, Florida Department of Health spokesman Brad Dalton told the Sun-Sentinel, but Love-Robinson was incorrigible.

    He appeared to open New Birth New Life Holistic and Alternative Medical Center and Urgent Care in November, based on a Facebook page for the clinic, and allegedly put together a semi-convincing plan. New Birth New Life shared an office building with a dental practice and West Palm Medical Group; it had a website, complete with glowing testimonials from purported patients and a staff page that listed “Dr. Malachi A. Love-Robinson” as president and chief executive. (It also claimed that he held a PhD, an HHP-C and an AMP-C, though it’s not clear what the latter acronyms refer to). (continued)

  3. (continued)But there were some holes in his disguise: a description of himself on the website says that he is a 25-year-old “well rounded proffessional” (misspelling the word “professional”); Love-Robinson’s bio doesn’t offer any schools he attended and his name is nowhere to be found in the Florida Department of Health’s license verification database.

    Then, of course, there’s the fact that Love-Robinson looks so young.

    After getting another complaint about the supposed him in January, Florida health and anti-narcotics authorities set up a sting on the clinic this month, according to WPBF. An unnamed detective with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office told the TV station that an 86-year-old woman had contacted them after Love-Robinson visited her home when she was feeling ill.

    He told her she needed to go to the hospital, and as she was loaded into an ambulance, she said she asked him to return her purse to her house, the woman said. Instead, investigators believe, he allegedly stole her checks and had been cashing them around town.

    But Love-Robinson’s grandfather William Robinson says this is all a misunderstanding. He told the Sun-Sentinel that the teen never claimed to be a medical doctor, just a holistic doctor, and that he held certificates to practice from online schools.

    “He was pursuing things, but I don’t really know what it came to,” Robinson said. “He was pursuing the field that he wanted to get into.”

    He denied that Love-Robinson had received any patients at his clinic, adding that the goal was to set up the clinic and then attract licensed doctors to come work there. Robinson also told the Sun-Sentinel that his grandson was an “up-and-coming minister” at the church where Robinson himself is pastor.

    “He’s not out doing drugs, he’s not out trying to rob nobody,” Robinson said. “He’s trying to do something constructive, and if he did do something and the paperwork wasn’t right — he can get ahead of himself sometimes and he may have been trying too hard, but he had good intentions.”...

    “I requested to shadow physicians — next thing I know, cops are there, that’s all I know, all I know, I have no idea,” he said at the time, adding that what he was doing at the clinic wasn’t fraudulent.

    A reporter from the TV station referred back to those words during Love-Robinson’s arrest Tuesday.

    “You told me that you knew the difference between a doctor and not a doctor and you said you were not a doctor, correct?” asked reporter Terri Parker as she followed the handcuffed teenager and two police officers into an elevator.

    “These allegations and accusations will be cleared up and you will hear from my lawyer,” Love-Robinson replied.

  4. A teenager who authorities say impersonated a doctor has been arrested again and now faces charges of fraud and larceny...

    Authorities say Love-Robinson used the checking account information from one of his clients to pay off more than $34,000 in car payments...

    He appeared before a judge Wednesday and was ordered to undergo a mental examination. The teen was granted supervised released...
    Despite the new charges, Stine spoke highly of his client in an interview with CNN affiliate WPTV.

    "He has the entrepreneurial spirit of someone like a Donald Trump or a Bill Gates. I've never met somebody -- and I'm much older obviously -- who has such entrepreneurial spirit," Stine said. "If it was channeled maybe in a different direction things could be different here today."

    Love-Robinson was charged last month by authorities with practicing medicine without a license.

    He has denied the claims.

    "I'm not portraying as an M.D. I never said I've gone to school to be an M.D.," he told ABC News...

    As police led Love-Robinson out of his office in handcuffs, he said, "I'm hurt because of the accusations and allegations. But like I said, this is not the first time where I've been accused and I will pursue this. And when I do, you guys will know," according to WPBF.

    The website for Love-Robinson's practice lists the teen as its president, CEO and founder. It refers to Love-Robinson as "Dr." and places acronyms after his name, including Ph.D. and HHP-C, which is used for those involved in home health and personal care. A Ph.D. is generally not a medical degree.