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LA Prosecutors Charge Man With Falsely Claiming To Be A Doctor For Years. They're Asking Patients To Come Forward

A corner building is painted dark gray and has a sign reading "Pathways" above glass block windows and a white roof overhang.
Prosecutors say the man charged with impersonating a doctor, Stephan Gevorkian, owns and operates Pathways Medical in North Hollywood.
Screenshot via Google street maps
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Los Angeles prosecutors this week charged a man with falsely claiming to be a licensed doctor — alleging he's practiced medicine on thousands of patients in the last several years, including for serious diseases, such as cancer.

“Practicing medicine without a license is not only a criminal activity in California, it can cause irreparable harm to the health of unsuspecting people, some with serious illnesses, who believe they are under the care of a licensed physician," said L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón of the decision to prosecute.

About the charges

Stephan Gevorkian, 44, of Studio City is facing five felony accounts of practicing without certification at Pathways Medical Group in North Hollywood.

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His attorney Justin E. Sterling has said in statements released to the media that criminal charges are "unproven accusations" and that “any suggestion that Mr. Gevorkian was impersonating a doctor in an effort to treat unsuspecting patients is demonstrably false.”

"It's important to acknowledge that what is thought to be known or understood early on is not always the case in the end," said Sterling in a statement. A call asking Sterling for additional comments was not immediately returned.

Gascón announced the charges Monday, and is also asking patients of Gevorkian to come forward with information.

What we know about the investigation

An undercover investigator went into Gevorkian's practice seeking medical attention in November 2022. During the consultation, he "allegedly failed to accurately address abnormal levels of a hormone that could indicate a serious medical condition," according to the statement.

The D.A.'s statement says the business "conducts blood tests on patients, advises them on treatments and offers treatment for serious conditions including cancer and viral infections."

According to the office's Yellow Pages site, the facility has been operating for 13 years. The office lists "Alternative Medicine" as a practice.

We've reached out to the Pathways Medical Group for comment and have yet to hear a response back. Gevorkian's preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 24.

What we don't know

We don't know what type of doctor (more on that below) Gevorkian is alleged to have been impersonating. When we asked the D.A.'s office for clarification, we were told, "Gevorkian has never been licensed to practice medicine in California."

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What you can do to protect yourself

  • The D.A.'s office is asking Gevorkian's patients to call the Consumer Protection hotline at (213) 257-2465.
  • To verify that your doctor is licensed, you can search your doctor or surgeon on the state's website or their license status using this tool from the state.
  • To search for an osteopathic practitioner, you can change the search parameters to Osteopathic Medical Board of California and then type "Osteopathic Physician and Surgeon" (as shown below).
  • Naturopathic doctors are licensed in California. Homeopaths and naturopaths are unlicensed and may not use the term "naturopathic doctor." They are not required to receive the same level of training and are required by law to disclose to clients in writing that they are providing unlicensed "healing arts services." You can verify a naturopathic doctor's license here.
Fill in boxes for Boards and Bureaus reads: Osteopathic Medical Board... and License Type reads: Osteopathic Physician and...
Courtesy State of California
What questions do you have about Southern California?

Corrected April 26, 2023 at 5:34 PM PDT
An earlier version incorrectly misspelled Gevorkian's last name as Gervorkian in two places. LAist regrets the error.
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