La Mesa police arrested a man at Sharp Grossmont hospital who allegedly impersonated a doctor.
Zaid Jeorge is accused of felony impersonation and practicing medicine without a license.
According to a hospital security department memo, a security guard questioned Jeorge on Jan. 11 in a doctors’ lounge at the hospital.
Jeorge was reportedly wearing blue scrubs and a doctor’s coat embroidered with the Sharp HealthCare logo and his name identifying him as an anesthesiologist.
According to the memo, Jeorge was carrying a stethoscope, a “cell phone with Arabic messages visible on the screen” and car keys for a rented Mercedes-Benz sedan.
Jeorge had no credentials or Sharp HealthCare identification.
The hospital’s security manager said Jeorge told security he was a “student in Sweden and was here to learn more as part of his student apprenticeship."
When asked if he had a sponsor, liaison or escort, Jeorge allegedly gave the name of a hospital doctor who later told security he did not really know Jeorge, and said he “latched on to him a few weeks ago after (the doctor) accepted a connection request from Jeorge on LinkedIn.
In a Facebook post, a medical professional said a colleague of hers called SharpGrossmont security when he noticed Jeorge “…just sitting in the doctors’ lounge in the OR hallway."
"We all have to be alert!" she wrote.
Jeorge’s LinkedIn profile says he’s a Harvard Medical School graduate and a Sharp HealthCare physician. His LinkedIn and Instagram profiles include photos of him posing in a Sharp Healthcare doctor’s coat, in front of the hospital.
According to the hospital’s memo, the La Mesa Police Department evaluated Jeorge for both mental fitness and as potential terrorism threat. They searched his car and found two passports and a document showing a local address in El Cajon.
The Medical Board of California, which licenses doctors, has no listing for a Dr. Zaid Jeorge.
Dr. Ted Mazer, president of the California Medical Association, said hospitals have stringent security to assure that impostors cannot gain entrance to surgery suites or patient treatment areas.
Mazer, who is affiliated with Sharp and Alvarado hospitals, said doctors and nurses know their colleagues, and will quickly question anyone they don’t recognize.
“There’s a whole new (additional) level of security,” in those patient treatment areas, Mazer explained. “When you walk into an operating room, everyone has to know who's who in the room, and you're not going to have an impostor walk into an operating room and be handed a scalpel. I mean, it's just not going to happen."
The San Diego County District Attorney's office confirmed Tuesday that Jeorge was released from jail after his arrest by posting bail, which was set at $25,000. He is scheduled to appear in court later this week.