Fake Doctor? OMG.

On March 29, 2010, in Uncategorized, by Andrea

Okay.  Now, this frightens me.

How many of us, when looking for surgery, actually, you know, check out our surgeons?  Our PCPs?  Our GIs?  I know *I* never have.  Perhaps I should.

A drum had been banged for some time about a doctor running an after-care clinic for WLS surgery in Mexico, who, was not, in fact an actual doctor.  There was some proof, but many discredited the proof for one reason or another.  This is NOT the surgeon – this is the “doctor” that is in charge of the care AFTER the surgery.  He was in charge of pain management, wound care, drains, giving injections, etc.

Last night, another person stepped forward with the same claim — with pictures of the Mexican medical license.  When you put the number in the Mexican Licensing Board — a different name pops up.


I’ve offered to put this information up so it’s mirrored on a different location, along with the threat the “doctor” sent to this person (even more credible!) so there’s even more exposure to this person.  Additionally, the Patient Coordinator for the practice is getting involved on the ObesityHelp website and is only making matters worse.

I want to make something clear — there are many, many safe surgeons outside the US.  This is not about how the Mexican doctors all suck ass and you should avoid them.  This is about a single doctor who seems to have faked his credentials and is putting lives at risk by not having proper training for the job he is doing.  At the very least, it is unethical as all hell.

I’ve promised not to edit the following information — it’s not my story to tell.  I’m simply providing a service to the community.  Oh, and let’s learn how to research our surgeons?  Here’s a good primer on how to do it.

From ObesityHelp’s PeanutFreeMom:

I posted this in the thread below.  But I think it is important, and needs to be on it’s own thread.  This a sad day for those of us who had our surgeries there, and who cared for and respected him.

After I posted my personal experience and why I was no longer recommending that clinic, I received an email from a person familiar with his clinic.  I was told that his medical license actually belongs to a different doctor.  A doctor Cesar Lara.

Since I was given a copy of his medical license by the clinic, I was able to look it up in the Government of Mexico’s professional licensing database, which is available online.

Unfortunately, the person who contacted me was correct.  His medical license is a counterfeit.  Since this is the copy I have from the clinic, the only reasonable explanation is that he is not who he says he is.

Here is the copy of the license.

Front of License

Back of License

The government link is here: http://www.cedulaprofesional.sep.gob.mx:7057/cedula/CntConsu ltaVisitas

You simply type in the number 4742029  (Cedula basically means Decree or License in Spanish)

This is who the license is registered to:

Apellido Paterno: LARA
Apellido Materno: MUÑOZ

La presente información es preliminar, por lo tanto, en caso de requerir un documento que certifique la información, será necesario realizar el trámite de “Antecedentes Profesionales” ante la Dirección General de Profesiones.

http://www.cedulaprofesional.sep.gob.mx:7057/cedula/CntConsu ltaCedula?cedula=4742029&tipo=C1

I have reported the fact that he is not a doctor and is using a counterfeit license to the Mexican authorities, although I am not sure what the outcome will be.  My spanish is not great.

I did contact Mr. Betancourt with the evidence and he threatened me. Here is some of what he wrote:

“Melany. You are definitely following the wrong lead. Looks like a copy and past job. As for my hospital. Your wrong again. As for me being a doctor. Your wrong again. It makes a lot of people upset because of our exito. As for your threat to report to the correct authority’s. I do not take threats at all its a very weak tactic. we can continue to pursue you while you are in mexico. Or one of your reps. You know its not hard to find out where and when you might be here.there is a legal letter going out to you and your friend shirley also. Fyi.”

I’m so sorry, this is hard for me, as I felt that “Dr.” Betancourt gave me my life and my health back.  I certainly didn’t have anything against him personally.  I actually had a very good experience there.

But I think the only ethical thing to do is let you all know what I now know.

Scary, yes?

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9 Responses to “Fake Doctor? OMG.”

  1. Debra Kay says:

    I had my first surgery at Betancourt’s clinic. The surgeon comes in, brings his tools with him and you use the clinic’s operating room.

    He (Betancourt) is a personable guy-but I didn’t get the sense he was all the medical savy. When the NUT came by the hotel, he got on to me for drinking juice and asked were I got it-Betancourt brought it by….LOL.

    I lived to tell the tale, but have not reccomended the clinic-I don’t really reccomend anyone because I want people to take care of their own research.

    My complication was due to a hernia that existed before the band-and the band was replaced-but my US doctor speculated that it was placed too low to accomodate (rather than repair) the hernia. At the time I had surgery, that was still a common practice-now they always fix the hernias. The surgeon who placed the band is no longer affiliated with Betancourt.

  2. Debra Kay says:

    I should have typed the band was repositioned, not replaced.

  3. Andrea says:

    I think this whole fiasco is both shocking and scary. I hope we get some concrete answers sooner than later. It’s been reported elsewhere that this guy is a 7th grade drop-out that used to sell used cars…

  4. Cheryl says:

    Hi Andrea,

    I am an Almanza/Betancourt post-op patient, who had 90% of her expectations fulfilled at the clinic, in January.

    I don’t know Dr B very well at all. But, I was at the clinic and recovery house for 5 days in total and I saw Dr B at least once a day. He did not strike me as being unintelligent — far from it, actually. So, I’m not certain “this” is “his” only medical license. I don’t know why the clinic would give out such a document that is so easily traced. It doesn’t make sense that anyone there would be so careless as to disrupt their financial lives by handing out a false document to anyone who asks and who can easily verify the number on it.

    We do not know PeanutFreeMom/Mel and what her conflict with Dr B was/is or why the license unveiling was done as it was or why she really unveiled it at all given that she’s had it for months. You also do not know Dr B. So, you can’t possibly know everyone’s true motivations and intent.

    You are one of the leaders on this board. Your service to the community includes looking at all sides of the story, does it not? Isn’t this what thorough research is about?

    Sincerely and respectfully,

  5. Andrea says:

    I believe I am looking at both sides of this — and if there is more information that proves Bentancourt is actually a physician, then I would most certainly post it as well. However, this is a document that has his name on it with another person’s information linked to it.

    Again I state — get me a copy of Bentancourt’s REAL license — a proof from the Mexican authorities that shows that he does hold a license in Mexico or even in the US (which he does not, that was looked up), and I will post that information as well.

    I do not know PeanutFreeMom at all. I had never spoken to her at all. I do not have an agenda here. I do not care about surgeries abroad (especially since I will most likely price my plastics in Sweden) – but there is too much evidence pointing that this man is NOT who he claims to be.

    And let us not forget that the best identity thieves are not dummies. It takes a great deal of intelligence to pull something like this off convincingly for a length of time. I never said the man was stupid – only that things were not adding up. Do not put words in my mouth, please.

  6. melting mama says:

    WLSVitagarten is a board? I’m lost.

  7. Andrea says:

    No. It’s a kingdom. Didn’t you get the memo?

  8. Mary Flaxton says:

    Are you sure you have the whole story here? Several people that know some of the people involved say this is not what it seems. Peanutfreemom had a dispute over money with the doctor. She confirmed that herself. It has been said that she fabricated the license on photo shop. I don’t know much about that because I don’t know what photo shop is. lol! I’m 67 years old and I’m lucky I know how to use a computer! Other than the copy of the license that she gave you what other evidence do you have? The story I heard from someone I trust is that she has teamed up with another doctors coordinator and they are trying to discredit Dr. Betancourt. I did have surgery 2 years ago at that clinic. Dr. Betancourt didn’t provide any medical care that I saw. He said he is the hospital administrator and is not a surgeon. He seemed very smart not at all stupid. He also said that he has owned the clinic for 12 years. I can’t imagine that he would be in business that long if this stuff was true. The other person on the obes help board that calls herself midwestern girl is well known for bashing many many doctors. Not just this clinic. Supposedly the clinic has now taken legal action against her and the other people that have fabricated the fake license and is spreading the rumors. You might want to do more research before you put this stuff up. You may have been duped!

  9. Andrea says:

    I’ve seen this LONG before this post. But it was yanked before I could get a copy of it.

    Anyone who wants to give me proof to the contrary will get their say as well. However there is nothing coming out. Additionally, there does not seem to be a Betancourt IN the Mexican medical licensing system — that much I DO know. And there isn’t one in the American system, either. I DO know that, as well.

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