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People pretending to be licensed medical professionals is becoming a nationwide epidemic...
Tuesday, February 2, 2010 - 15:21
Houston -- The problem of people pretending to be licensed medical professionals is a nationwide one. Some people think that the lack of medical insurance is one reason some people seek these fake doctors.
Imagine visiting a doctor, only to learn afterward that the person providing your medical care isn't a doctor at all .Last week, the Houston Police Department’s Major Offenders Division arrested Dr. Juan Cota, the clinical director at the True Health Clinic on Bellaire Boulevard.
HPD said they learned Cota was operating without a medical license about a month ago and immediately began investigating.
"Usually we will do several visits. It might be a confidential informant who we send in, or it might be an undercover officer," Sgt. Frank Quinn said.
Quinn said people are impersonating doctors and dentists all over Houston, but police need the public’s help to find them.
"He didn’t have any posted diplomas for himself," Quinn said of Cota.
It’s a nationwide problem. Just in the last four weeks, 11 News found cases of unlicensed doctors busted all over the country. Most of them preyed on uneducated patients who didn’t have health insurance, and many of those patients told police they didn’t know how to find out if a doctor is licensed.
That information can be found easily on the Internet. In Texas, it’s available on the State Medical Board’s Web site.
"If they don’t have access to a computer of their own, they could go to the public library and even ask for assistance there," Quinn said.