Florida Teen Arrested For Illegally Practicing Medicine

By McCarton Ackerman 02/19/16

The Florida teenager, who advertised that he treated substance abuse in addition to other psychiatric disorders, posted bail on Wednesday.

Florida Teen Arrested For Illegally Practicing Medicine Claimed He Could Treat Substance Abuse
Photo via Shutterstock

Malachi Love-Robinson, 18, was arrested in West Palm Beach and accused of practicing medicine without a license. He had opened an office last October in a West Palm Beach medical center and had been practicing illegally since then. The website for his company, New Birth New Life Medical Center & Urgent Care, stated that Love-Robinson treated substance abuse, depression, psychosis and other psychiatric diseases, in addition to claiming that he was a minister.

The website indicates that he had at least two employees. Love-Robinson is referred to as “Dr.” on the website and listed himself as a Ph.D and HHPC after his name. A separate profile he created on HealthGrades.com also stated that he was 25 years old.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office arrested the teen after setting up a sting in conjunction with their narcotics unit and the Florida Department of Health. During the undercover setup, Love-Robinson performed a physical exam on an undercover agent and offered medical advice afterwards. He had been previously cited last October by the Department of Health for practicing medicine without a license, but refused to stop.

“Just because you saw a season of Grey’s Anatomy doesn’t mean you could practice medicine,” said the sheriff’s office on Twitter. Love-Robinson told local reporters immediately after the arrest that he was “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.” He was released from the Palm Beach County Jail on Wednesday after posting $6,000 bail.

This isn’t the first time that Love-Robinson has been accused of illegally posing as a doctor, though. In January 2015, according to a CBS News report, he was taken into custody after pretending to be a gynecologist at a Florida OB/GYN office at the St. Mary’s Medical Center. He told doctors he had been a staff member there for several years, but police were called after his story didn’t add up. He was not arrested or charged in the incident and police confirmed that he did not come into contact with any patients.

Love-Robinson told local media afterwards that the whole situation was a misunderstanding and he was not trying to pose as a doctor.

“I requested to shadow some physicians, next thing I know, the cops are there,” he said. “This story was broadcast everywhere, like I’m some insane maniac who is just out here doing crazy things. I didn’t operate, I didn’t reach into someone’s uterus, I didn’t snatch up a baby.”

In an interview with Good Morning America that aired Thursday, Love-Robinson said, "I'm not portraying as an M.D. I never said I've gone to school to be an M.D." He went on to state that he does indeed have a Ph.D., but he further declined to disclose what field it was in.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.