Young writer Bonnie Dowie enjoyed missions language school in Africa
Recently there was another case where someone masqueraded themselves as a doctor. A few years ago there was a fake doctor who worked at the Alice Springs Hospital in the Northern Territory. More recently another one on the Gold Coast.
This occurs from time to time. The media have recently revealed so many sordid details of fake doctors being involved in surgery or writing prescriptions, that after a while the public may think, 'ho-hum', not again.
I speculates that it is not difficult to get copies of ‘certificates’ that look genuine, to put on the surgery wall; moreover, for a few dollars from some so called US Educational Institutions, you can purchase on-line, almost any degree you want, with a logo that could resemble, if you wished, the “Iron Cross with Oak Leaves”.
In the recently reported case, the man posing as a doctor received a conditional registration from the NT Medical Board. The board did not cross-check a certified copy of the man's medical degree with the University of Adelaide, which is where he claimed he earned his degree. Board chairman Dr Charles Kilburn said the documents appeared genuine and his staff followed all protocols.
All this reminds me of the black-and-white movies of my youth, with Dirk Bogart and other comic actors playing larrikin trainee doctors, seemingly with ‘no idea’ of what they were doing, and ‘assumed’ to be the ‘real thing’.
These images come to mind how these bogus doctors can ‘get away with it’. It can't be too difficult for someone who looks the part - to be considered the part.
Another situation in the early eighties, when (as a Chaplain) I was visiting the sick in hospital, an occasion shortly after my successful theological doctoral dissertation. To celebrate this milestone, one of my colleagues, smilingly acknowledged me as, Doctor (he knew it was in a Ph.D.) and the nurse a little distance away overheard, and called “Dr Tronson” so she could start her rounds. There you are – so simple!
Some of our young writers find this in reverse - when they comment they are a Christian Today columnist! The responses are interesting -
You're way too young!
What qualifies you?
Mike Burr last year served the Lord in Byron Bay YWAM before moving back to Manchester UK
Many other situations
There are many other situations whereby people masquerade themselves as something they are not. This is not difficult to do. How many so called 'unlicensed' builders are the public warned of (as in 'shonky’); unqualified ‘advisers’ in the financial industry who sell scams of one sort or another to gullible investors who have precious little to lose?
The Apostle Paul warns over and over and over again about those who masquerade as Christian teachers without the truth of the Grace of Jesus Christ's 'once for all' death on the Cross; shedding His blood for our Salvation.
While fake doctors may take liberties with diagnoses and even scripts, fake Bible teachers play their dramas with eternal matters. Herein lies an even greater danger.
Again, it is not that difficult to masquerade as a preacher. Many with inadequate theological training (or none at all) start up new churches in suburbia under the guise of some newly-created denominational group.
One astonishing occasion. A twenty-something Pentecostal preacher exclaimed to me that he (the twenty something preacher) was an 'Apostle' !
I thought, what, after 40 years I remained a lowly Baptist minister faithful servant of the Lord, and that perhaps it was time, that I too should consider paying a few dollars to one of those US degree-dispensers and become an “Apostle with Oak Leaves”.
We are in a serious business. As in another situation we face, we should be alert and just a little alarmed.
Danielle Jones serving the Lord in Columbia – pure joy in the Lord
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html