Immense pressure to succeed caused a woman to fail her university exams and fake qualifications to work as a doctor, a court has been told.
A young woman who lied about being a medical intern to work at a major Sydney hospital for eight months says she was under ‘lots of pressure’ and wants to go back to work.
Zhi Sin Lee landed a job at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital in January despite not being qualified after failing her final exams at UNSW.
The 27-year-old was sacked in August after staff realised she wasn’t registered or qualified for the job.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority charged Lee, of Zetland, with one count of not being a registered health practitioner but claiming she could practise on October 21.
According to documents tendered to the court, Lee “did knowingly or recklessly claim to be qualified to practise as a health practitioner” despite she was a person “who is not a registered health practitioner”.
It is believed she faked documents with the Medical Board of Australia to become a trainee doctor in January, beginning her role on January 18 and working until August 9.
Lee faced Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court for the first time on Thursday and pleaded guilty to the charge without any legal representation.
Prosecutor Erin Hoile on behalf of AHPRA told the court that professional costs of $3400 were being sought.
The court was told the maximum penalty for Lee’s charge was three years imprisonment or a fine of $60,000.
While Lee was keen to get the matter sorted, magistrate Margaret McGlynn told her to get some legal advice.
“It’s a serious matter, if it were me I’d be getting some legal advice,” Ms McGlynn said.
Outside court, Lee told media she apologised for what she did but was under immense pressure to finish her qualifications.
“It’s because I didn’t pass the final exams that’s why I didn’t get the registration,” the 27-year-old said.
“There’s so much pressure to perform, pressure on students.
“I am sorry for what I have done … I just want to know if I can go back and study medicine.
“I want to know what my future is like.”
The matter was adjourned for sentence on January 20.