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Dr. Fernández, I Presume


For 14 years, José Luis Fernández Rivas was one of the best-known gynecologists and obstetricians in this coastal city of 178,000 people in Spain's Basque country. He saw about 11,000 women in that time, fitting them with IUDs, overseeing their pregnancies, delivering their babies, prescribing medicines. Fernández, 44, and his wife, Dr. Isabel Blasop, an endocrinologist and a member of one of the region's heavyweight political families, shared consulting rooms, status and large incomes. Only one thing was amiss: Fernándezwasn't a doctor. Just before Christmas, the man so many women had entnuted their bodies to was sentenced to three years in prison for concealing his lack of qualifications from his patients and, more remarkably hospital administrators and colleagues.

The unmasking of Fernández after his incredibly long impersonation began in 1993, when a routine inspection of prescrjptions by the Basque health service uncovered a curious discrepancy. The doctor registered as No.2519, an anesthetist, was prescribing contraceptives, Investigators discovered that unbeknown to doctor No.2519, his number was also being used by Fernández.

Fernández's lawyer, Juan María Bandrés, pleads that the case is a love story gone wrong. The young Fernández enrolled to study medicine in Barcelona. So did his girlfriend Isabel Blasco, but at a different university. Whi1e she passed her first year, he flunked. Everysubject. Fearing her family would not let her marry a dropout, Fernández "kept sitting in on lectures and buying books", says Bandrés,. Fernández claimed at his trial that his wife never knew of his fraud. Blasco declined to testify,

By ROD USMER, in San Sebastián Time, January 15, 1996) 


1.Make a list of Dr. Fernandez's tasks as a doctor.

2.After reading the report. can you guess the meaning of the first sentence; "A good bedside manner goes a long way" ?

3.Who knew Dr. Fernández was-a fraud ?


A.Explain the meaning of unmasking.

B.Find a word in the text for this definition:

use of false representations to gain unjust advantage

C.  Find synonyms for these words: partner. fail. refuse

D.  Find antonvms for these ones: extraordinary. agreement


Divide this sentence into two. The man so many women had entrusted their bodies to was sentenced to three years in prison.


Do you think that smoking and alcoholic drinks can be considered as drugs

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