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Man Who Went to Jail as Fake Doctor Now a Real One

Man Who Went to Jail as Fake Doctor Now a Real One
(Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty)

By    |   Thursday, 08 August 2019 12:19 PM

Twenty years ago, Adam Litwin was arrested and jailed for impersonating a doctor at the University of California, Los Angeles. Today he is a real MD. It was not an easy road for the 47-year-old but he was determined to get there.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Litwin recalled how he grew up wanting to be a doctor but was forced to put those aspirations on hold after his UCLA blip. Decades later, Litwin decided to give it a second shot.

He enrolled in medical school in the Caribbean, where he graduated last year. He has since passed his final board exam and has realized his dream of becoming a doctor. This time he did it the right way.

"Have you ever wanted something so badly in your life, and you knew you were never going to get it? What it would be like, what it would feel like to be that person, even if just one day?" Litwin told the Times in an interview published this week. 

After high school, Litwin enrolled in medical school at San Jose State. He was transferred to St. Louis University, where he participated in an interactive pre-med program but dropped out of college when the clinical rotations ended.

Speaking to the Times, Litwin said he felt depressed and struggled to focus on his schoolwork, so he moved to San Fernando Valley. His dream of becoming a physician never left him though, and he spent his time in UCLA's medical library, reading textbooks. 

This was how he wound up impersonating a doctor. People began to mistake Litwin for a resident and he went along with it. It was not long before he was hanging out with residents in the UCLA Medical Center cafeteria and residents' lounge. He slept in the on-call rooms and did rounds with the residents. Litwin insists he never touched or treated a patient though.

The charade ended after a suspicious medical center supervisor checked the resident roster. In 1999 Litwin was arrested and charged for forging a prescription, impersonating a doctor and stealing state property.

At 28, he was sentenced to two months in jail and six months of psychiatric counseling for the misdemeanors. Litwin said he has been reformed after undergoing intensive therapy.

In the years that ensued, he partnered up with his grandfather to run a healthcare consulting company but in 2012 he decided to revisit his childhood dream of becoming a doctor.

"My love and my passion for medicine persevered and I said to myself, 'You know what? This is my dream,'" he told the Times. "With people who impersonate doctors, how many people end up becoming myself?" he continued. "You’re looking at him."

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Twenty years ago, Adam Litwin was arrested and jailed for impersonating a doctor at the University of California, Los Angeles. Today he is a real MD. It was not an easy road for the 47-year-old but he was determined to get there.
doctor, litwin, fake, california, ucla
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2019-19-08
Thursday, 08 August 2019 12:19 PM
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