A 19-year-old man with no medical training whatsoever managed to fool the staff at one of the most prestigious medical institutions in India into thinking that he was a doctor just by hanging out with real doctors and wearing a face mask and stethoscope.
“He would roam around wearing the lab coat and stethoscope all the time,” Harjit Singh, president of the hospital’s resident doctor’s association, told the Hindustan Times. “We found out that he had made different claims to different doctors. To some, he would claim that he was a junior resident doctor while to junior resident doctors, he would introduce himself as an undergraduate medical student. He had even made his way to the WhatsApp groups.”
Everything was going great for Khurram, so great in fact that the actual doctors at AIIMS started wondering how he made time to hang out with them all the time and participate in all the events organized by the hospital and other institutions. Most of them typically worked shifts of up to 20 hours and barely had enough time to sleep, but the 19-year-old seemed to always be available.
Photo: Adnan Khurram/Facebook
“We were surprised that he could make it to all the events at AIIMS and even those organised by other medical organisations,” said Dr. Harjit Singh. “He used to hang out near the coffee shop or the doctors’ hostel every evening. We started wondering how he had so much time.”
The hospital eventually notified the police about Adnan Khurram and he was arrested last week after coming to AIIMS to take part in a staff marathon. He has been charged with impersonation and forgery.
As for Khurram’s motives, so far they are unclear, as he keeps changing his statements during questioning. At first, the 19-year-old said that he was hoping to become friendly with the doctors at AIIMS in order to secure preferential treatment for an ailing family member, but then said he just did it because he just liked to hang out with doctors and hoped to one day become a real one himself.
To his credit, Delhi police declared themselves impressed with the young man’s knowledge of medicine, as well as the names of doctors and departments at AIIMS. If not for his suspiciously free schedule, he could have probably spent years at the hospital just by putting on a robe and wearing a stethoscope around his neck.
Khurram isn’t the first people to successfully pose as a doctor despite lacking the required qualifications. Two years ago, odditycentral.com reported about 18-year-old Malachi Love-Robinson, who ran a fake medical practice in Florida, and last year, odditycentral.com featured a 25-year-old man from Malaysia who ran a dental clinic using skills he picked up from YouTube.