Australian police have arrested a 17-year-old boy for allegedly impersonating a doctor several times at a local hospital.
Sky News reports the teen apparently assisted patients at a hospital in the southern city of Adelaide recently, even helping a 12-year-old girl who had fallen off a scooter. The boy reportedly helped the girl with her injuries and then administered an unauthorized prescription drug.
Police had heard reports of a fake doctor roaming hospital wards, dressed in scrubs and carrying a stethoscope around his neck, between October and December.
The boy played up his part by wearing an identity badge, carrying a clipboard and stopping to read patients’ medical charts and talk to them on his rounds. A Royal Adelaide Hospital staff memo said the teen had been at the hospital on at least three occasions.
Australian police asked hospital staff to inform them if they saw any sign of the intruder, whom they nicknamed "Dr Who," according to a report in the Adelaide Advertiser newspaper. His name has not been released because he is under 18.
The hospital memo said the boy had "not committed substantive offenses,” but if he had physical contact with a patient, he could face criminal assault charges.
Prior to the arrest, health officials were taking the issue seriously, according to Australian health minister John Hill. "This is not something we want in our hospitals. We would like to ensure it doesn't happen any further," Hill said.
The Sky News report suggests the teenager had been suspended as an ambulance volunteer in November 2011 for "inappropriate behavior." Police said the teen was not qualified to act as a medical professional and did so under false pretenses.
The alleged Dr. Who is expected to appear in Adelaide Youth Court at a later date.