Female "Fake Doctor" Worked in State Hospital Over a Year to Please Her Family, is Arrested

“Are these all lies? We can't understand anything.”

A woman in Turkey was arrested after pretending to be a doctor for a year, even though she had only just graduated from high school. Ayşe Özkiraz, 20, is facing a serious investigation for her behavior, especially as she had access to patients and was responsible for treating them. 

Özkiraz told her fellow doctors she specialized in pediatrics—but none of it was true. Here is how reportedly tricked her way into working at the hospital, and how she was found out.

High School Graduate


Özkiraz accepted a job at the state hospital in Çerkezköy, which is approximately 68 miles from the Turkish capital of Istanbul. Using fake paperwork, Özkiraz claimed to have graduated from Istanbul University's Çapa Medical School, which was not true. She was actually just a high school graduate, not a medical student or intern.

Suspicious Behavior


Hospital staff eventually became suspicious of Özkiraz and what her actual credentials were. When they quizzed her on very basic medical knowledge, she gave evasive or incorrect answers. Concerned about the situation, the hospital staff called local law enforcement, who searched Özkiraz's home.

Falsified Documents


Police found fake university ID cards, doctor's ID cards, and diplomas in Özkiraz's house. They also found ID cards from several other hospitals, and medical/surgical uniforms and outfits. Özkiraz had not only tricked the hospital, but she allegedly lied to her parents too, telling them she was a doctor.

Under Pressure


In a statement, Özkiraz explained her motives. "When I was a student in high school, my family wanted me to go to medical school," she said. "They believed in me and thought that I would get a high score. When I graduated from high school, I took the university exam. However… I was unsuccessful. In order not to shake my family's faith in me, I told my mother, stepfather and stepbrothers that I [had a place at] the Capa Medical Faculty so that there would be no problems at home. I prepared the documents and showed them to my family."

Long Con


Despite her confession, Özkiraz's mother Semra Arslan believes her daughter must be innocent. "She ate meals in operating theaters," she told Turkish news outlet Cumhuriyet. "The head doctor was with her too. She is in photographs with the doctor. When we chatted on video calling, she's sitting in the room with the nurses. Are these all lies? We can't understand anything!"

Arslan believes someone else is involved in the debacle and should also face justice. "My child would never attempt such a thing," she says. Özkiraz has been charged with "opposing the Law on the Practice of the Style of Medicine and Medical Sciences."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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