BY KATE JACOBSON
SUN SENTINEL / TNS
FORT LAUDERDALE – A South Florida teenager is in jail after he played doctor with real patients for the second time in just over a year, authorities say.
Malachi Love-Robinson, 18, known as “Dr. Robinson” to his patients, was arrested after he allegedly gave physical exams and medical advice to people – including an undercover officer – at a “holistic medical clinic” he founded in West Palm Beach.
Sources say Love-Robinson is the same teen caught in January 2015 masquerading as a doctor at St. Mary’s Medical Center, peeking in on gynecology exams and keeping a wardrobe of lab coats in his car.
Dr. Sebastian Kent, an OB/GYN whose office is on the St. Mary’s Medical Center grounds, said he was amazed to hear that the same teen who had introduced himself as a doctor a year ago had been accused of impersonating a doctor a second time.
“I’ve been in practice for 36 years, this is the first time something like this has happened,” he said.
“It’s very strange. Very, very strange.”
Love-Robinson is charged with practicing medicine without a license. He is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail on $6,000 bail.
State tipped off
According to the Florida Department of Health, Love-Robinson came onto the agency’s radar after receiving a tip in October that he had been practicing medicine without a license.
Authorities sent a cease-and-desist letter, said department spokesman Brad Dalton, but Love-Robinson continued to practice. He opened the New Birth New Life Holistic and Alternative Medical Center and Urgent Care in West Palm Beach. In paperwork for the business, he is listed as the CEO. His title: Dr. Malachi Love-Robinson.
His website boasts that he holds a Ph.D., an “HHP-C” and an “AMP-C,” though it is unclear what the latter two designations stand for.
Name ‘stands out’
After the tip rolled in, Dalton said the health department reopened its investigation into Love-Robinson. Officials quickly realized he had already been told once to stop what he was doing.
“He has a name that stands out,” Dalton said.
The health department called the Sheriff’s Office and members of the Palm Beach Narcotics Task Force to investigate. They sent in an undercover officer. After that officer received a medical exam and advice from the young doctor, they arrested him.
Last year, Love-Robinson was briefly detained by West Palm Beach police after he was found wandering around St. Mary’s Medical Center wearing a doctor’s coat and interacting with patients.
Kent said Love-Robinson, then 17, was in his office and introduced himself as an anesthesiologist, but Kent became suspicious because of Love-Robinson’s youthful looks.
“This guy can schmooze his way around, he can tell any story you want to hear,” Kent said. “That’s what he tried to do with me – he tried to ingratiate himself with me so I would take him around, and after a while it started to not make sense to me. I thought something was wrong.”
Love-Robinson was questioned, but ultimately not charged.
According to Healthgrades.com, a website that ranks doctors, Love-Robinson has a five-star rating, based on two reviews. The website gives Love-Robinson’s age as 25, says he can speak French and lists his specialties as naturopathy, psychology and mental health.
According to his grandfather, William Robinson, it’s all a big misunderstanding. He said his grandson never claimed to be a medical doctor, only a holistic doctor, and that he had received proper certification to practice.
Those certificates are from online schools, Robinson said, though he wasn’t sure which ones. He said his grandson’s certificates were hung on the walls of his office.
“He was pursuing things, but I don’t really know what it came to,” Robinson said. “He was pursuing the field that he wanted to get into.”
Robinson denied that his grandson had ever seen patients at the clinic. The idea was to open the practice with Love-Robinson at the helm, then attract other doctors to come work for him.
He described his grandson as a passionate person who is smart and driven. Among his accomplishments, Robinson said, was his position as an “up-and-coming minister” at New Birth Outreach Ministries, the church where William Robinson is pastor.
On a website offering free ordained ministry certificates, Love-Robinson is listed as a reverend who specializes in “philosophical theology, religious epistemology and Christian apologetics.” His biography states he is working on a doctoral thesis and lists him as a naturopathic physician.
“He’s not out doing drugs, he’s not out trying to rob nobody,” Robinson said. “He’s trying to do something constructive, and if he did do something and the paperwork wasn’t right — he can get ahead of himself sometimes and he may have been trying too hard, but he had good intentions.”
Upon hearing of Love-Robinson’s arrest, Kent said he was shocked, but ultimately unsurprised.
“I just met him that one time, and I heard a lot about what he had done afterward and various encounters people had with him,” Kent said. “But yeah, it doesn’t surprise me he did this. I knew he would strike again.”