Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Doctor with the Magic Touch

There's this American guy who claims to be a doctor, and walks around Mega, our local grocery store, handing out business cards. I will call him Doctor Ricardo. It makes me wonder what type of American physician needs to drum up business in the pharmacy department of a grocery store. On his business cards he only lists his first name and cell phone - no address or last name. He does not even have an office. If you ask me it sounds rather suspicious.

What would make him that desperate? I would think a good US doctor would have no problems finding clients in Mexico. Although there are good doctors in Playa, I'm sure the whole expatriate community would swarm to a good US doctor, someone they feel they could trust, who speaks their language and charges Mexican prices.

As luck would have it a couple of friends did try out Doctor Ricardo. They called him for a simple house call, as they were feeling ill. Doctor Ricardo took their blood pressure and prescribed some medication. They said he was fine, but that they were surprised that he charged them $200 USD, $150 USD more than what is customary in Playa.

Come to find out friends of friends of mine were also suspicious of the doctor with no last name, so they did a little digging and found out who he really was. Doctor Ricardo was a gynecologist in California who was convicted of sexually molesting his patients and was consequently stripped of his medial license. Doctor Ricardo then proceeded to publicly denounce his accusers, listing them by name, another major no no in the medical community. Apart from losing his medical license he was also made to pay for court costs and damages.

Apart from his questionable past, Doctor Ricardo is not even allowed to legally practice medicine in Mexico. He would need Mexican licensing and certification. If something goes wrong there is no real way to hold him accountable. Even though I can't name specific occurrences in the past I have heard this is not the first time a foreign doctor has been illegally practicing medicine in Playa.

Doctor Ricardo has been added to my long list of people in Playa del Carmen with no integrity. He's a predator with no character who preys on innocent victims, only thinking of himself. If he can't make money as a doctor in the US, why not move to Mexico and expose a whole new group of people to his magic hands that wander all over and then rob you blind.

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