There is clearly no resemblance, but police in Toms River, New Jersey say that didn’t stop 54-year-old Patrick Lynch from telling patients for months that he was Doctor Andrew Nelson.
“The guy’s bold,” Dr. Nelson says. “How do you pretend to be a doctor and pretend to be a person you don’t even look like, at all.”
Authorities say Lynch, who is not a physician, began impersonating Nelson and treating patients in late July, soon after the real doctor stopped working for Visiting Doctors of New Jersey, the company Lynch owns.
Visiting Doctors provides house calls, primarily for elderly patients.
Investigators say Lynch continued to treat new patients until he was caught and charged a couple weeks ago.
Police say they’re not aware of anyone being harmed.
His lawyer had no comment, except to say his client is not guilty.
“We’ve identified anywhere between 25 and 40 patients who have come forward and advised us that they were treated by Mr. Lynch, believing that he was in fact a licensed physician named Doctor Nelson,” Lt. Doring Dunton of the Toms River Police force said Thursday.
Police say Lynch was even writing prescriptions, using Nelson’s name, and that’s ultimately what led to his arrest on February 19th.
Investigators want to hear from anyone else who was treated by the phony doctor, and urge them to seek legitimate medical care.