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Fake med student forged ID - university

Last updated 19:47 16/10/2012

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The University of Auckland's medical school says it is "reasonably sure" a fake medical student did not deal with hospital patients.

An investigation has been launched by the university to figure out how a student managed to pose as a medical student for two years.

The dean of the Medical and Health Sciences Faculty, John Fraser, said it was unclear whether the student got through the doors of Auckland Hospital.

"We understand that he assigned himself to a group, but whether he actually was there, on site, and engaged with the patients, we are reasonably sure that didn't occur," Professor Fraser told TVNZ.

The man also forged a student identification badge, which he was seen wearing.

The man, yet to be named, had even fooled his family into thinking he was training legitimately to be a doctor.

Starting out as a health science student and failing to get into medical school, he took part in second and third year medical studies and was involved in human cadaver dissection.

Prof Fraser said the man deceived everyone in the class and his fellow, legitimate, students were feeling betrayed and angry.

"We had a formal meeting with students yesterday, their reaction was not surprisingly hurt and upset and there was some degree of anger.”

The university's medical programme head Warwick Bagg said the bogus student would be referred to the appropriate health services to help him.

He could face police prosecution for his scam, but students have been warned not to speak publicly about him to protect his mental state.

A number of students approached yesterday refused to comment on the man and his deception.

Others described how easy it was to enter lectures they weren't enrolled into.

"I don't know how he got into the labs because there are swipe cards, but I go to other lectures sometimes and there are no swipe cards on lecture theatres," one student said. "You just walk in."

The man scammed his way into the course after failing to get in, Associate Professor Bagg said.

He falsified a student identification badge, which he was seen wearing and went to "a considerable length" to stay in the course.

"Students at the university practise on each other which is an issue. They're not very happy about the situation - they gave consent."

A trespass notice has been issued against him.

Prof Bagg said the man and his family were in great distress following the public outing and staff were concerned for his well-being.

His family had not known he was not officially enrolled in his course.

"Medicine is a profession built on trust, we proudly teach ethics and professionalism to our students," Prof Bagg said.

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"The actions of this individual are at complete odds with these tenets. This type of behaviour is extremely unusual."

The university was not aware of any case where the man was involved with patients or confidential documents.

However, he would have had around 10 hours of group anatomy study on cadavers.

"The university has initiated a number of steps following the revelation he has been attending classes," Prof Bagg said.

It was reviewing its procedures for enrolment into the medical programme but would maintain the way it runs lectures.

Details around the man have not been released by the university while the investigation is under way.

- Auckland Now

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