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Phony Physician: California Man Diagnoses Patient While Impersonating Doctor

Ariya Oskouian managed to see a patient who had come in with a neck growth — and even offered a diagnosis, police said.

By Noah Hurowitz

A California man repeatedly passed himself off as a doctor at two hospitals in Orange County, Calif., going so far as to diagnose a neck growth on an unsuspecting patient, according to prosecutors.

Ariya Oskouian, 23, was arrested Wednesday and charged with giving a medical diagnosis while impersonating a doctor, and eight counts of misrepresenting himself as a medical professional, after authorities caught wind of his caper, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

On eight occasions between April 23 and June 4, Oskouian is accused of sneaking into the Children's Hospital of Orange County and the University of California Irvine Medical Center and masquerading as a doctor, prosecutors said.

Oskouian, who was identified by the Los Angeles Times as a former student at the University of California, Irvine, started his scheme at the school in April, when he convinced officials that he was on the up-and-up but had lost his badge — and proceeded to trick them into verifying him to their counterparts at the Children’s Hospital, according to prosecutors.

When hospital security guards became suspicious of the phony physician, he pretended to bear the name of an actual university employee, officials said.

On one occasion, at the consult room at UC Irvine, he'd even managed to see a patient who had come in with a growth on his neck, prosecutors said. It was not immediately clear what diagnosis Oskouian gave the patient, or if hospital officials had managed to follow up with them.

Oskouian’s final medical masquerade was on June 4, and at some point in the intervening months, hospital officials realized they had been duped and contacted police, who arrested the wannabe doc at his home in Irvine, Calif., according to a spokesman for the police department in Nearby Orange, whose officers made the arrest.

In a statement to Oxygen.com, a spokeswoman for the Children’s Hospital said Oskouian did not have any contact with their patients nor access to patient health records. A spokesman for UC Irvine did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

[Photo: Orange Police Department]

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