A man rejected by Auckland University's medical programme in
2010 allegedly pretended to be a student, attending classes
and labs, interacting with patients and using a forged
student doctor ID while on practical hospital placements.
He managed to avoid detection for two years while studying
for bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery (MB ChB)
degrees, which take six years to complete, but was caught out
when a classmate put his name on a joint assignment last
The Herald can reveal that university authorities issued a
trespass notice against the man after he was outed last week,
and are considering taking the matter to police.
A source close to the man, who spoke on condition of
anonymity, said: "For the past two years he avoided the
system by not attending any exams and not submitting any
assignments. He is not on any of the class lists.
"He attended this lab but asked his lab partner not to write
his name on the assignment sheet. The lab partner did end up
writing his name, as she assumed that he was a legitimate
It is understood he had been permitted to "interview"
patients - but he did not treat them or have access to
The source said the man's classmates had seen him wearing a
student doctor identification badge. They were told yesterday
that badge had been forged.
"He also had access to the medical school's cadaver
dissection labs, including dissection of bodies donated to
the medical school for medical student education.
"It is uncertain how he was able to obtain access to parts of
the medical school buildings which are swipe card
controlled," the source said.
Professor John Fraser, dean of the faculty of medical and
health sciences, said: "Because of the size of the medical
class, and by not submitting assessments or sitting tests,
the individual was able to deceive classmates and teachers.
"This individual is not a student and is not on any class
list. This person has not been given any confidential or
restricted training material, and has not, to our knowledge,
ever been able to examine any patients or received
confidential patient information.
"We are investigating how this has happened and reviewing all
procedures. The university is taking this very seriously."
Professor Fraser said the man's behaviour was "extremely
"This is the first such instance in the 43-year history of
the medical school ... In view of this individual's actions
and the likelihood of a police investigation, it is
inappropriate for us to comment any further at this time."
Students on the same course have been offered counselling.
The matter has not yet been reported to police.
- Anna Leask, NZ Herald