Florida Teen Posed as ER P.A., Treated Patients: Cops

17-year-old Matthew Scheidt even performed physical exams on disrobed male patients, officials say

By Janie Campbell
|  Sunday, Sep 4, 2011  |  Updated 1:27 PM EDT
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Doogie Howser, he was not: a Florida teen masquerading as a physician's assistant was arrested Friday after treating emergency room patients at Osceola Regional Medical Center, reports NBC affiliate WESH.

Kissimmee police say Matthew Scheidt, 17, even performed CPR on a patient in cardiac arrest since obtaining a hospital ID badge on August 24.

The teen claimed to be a 23-year-old physician's assistant in a program at Nova Southeastern University, according to the Orlando Sentinel, and applied for a hospital ID badge under the pretense that he worked as a P.A. for a surgical group that had just changed its name.

In reality Scheidt was a part-time billing clerk for the surgical group. He has since been fired.

While at the hospital, Scheidt also interviewed an undisclosed number of patients, read confidential medical records, conducted physical exams on disrobed male patients, cleaned and dressed wounds, and restrained one combative patient, authorities said.

"They're going to have real problems if somebody got hurt as a result of this kid," attorney John Morgan told the paper, questioning the hospital's ability to screen employees.

"There's being duped and there's being stupid…If this is their level of competence, God help anybody who goes there for other matters."

"Our initial review of patient charts indicates that patients treated in the ER during this time received the medical care they needed," Osceola Regional spokeswoman Vanessa Guevara told WESH.

An Osceola Sheriff's spokeswoman confirmed Scheidt had once been a member of the department's program for future law enforcement officers, but was booted for repeatedly wearing a items including a badge that could make people think he was a deputy.

Police said Scheidt claimed at least twice to be an undercover law enforcement officer and repeatedly requested a new badge that would allow him access to restricted areas of the hospital.

Nabbed after suspicious hospital officials called police, Scheidt is charged with five counts of impersonating a physician's assistant.

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