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Police: Polk County 'doctor' had no license

Posted at 4:09 PM, Mar 07, 2016

State investigators teamed up with local police to arrest a Haines City man accused of diagnosing and treating patients without a medical license.

Manuel Cordova runs a clinic on 15 North Fifth St. in Haines City. Through the windows, you can see a stack of herbal medicine boxes and pill containers scattered throughout the office.

Recently, state investigators made an appointment with Cordova after hearing him advertise on a local Spanish-language radio show.

They discovered the man did not have a medical license, according to law enforcement. Police said Cordova diagnosed a made-up condition and then setup a treatment plan.

Even if he's a doctor of natural medicine -- which the state does not offer a license for -- that's considered practicing medicine and it's illegal to do without a medical license.

"He can't tell you what is the matter with you because he's not a licensed doctor," said Brian McNulty, assistant chief of the Haines City Police Department. "We just don't want to see anyone else become victims."

A degree hanging on the wall inside the clinic says Cordova earned his Doctor of Natural Medicine through the Clayton College of Natural Health, an online school that closed in 2010 amid controversy.

The Huffington Post calls it the "biggest quack school of natural medicine."

Cordova's landlord, Oscar Gonzalez, believes the only thing he did wrong was call himself a "doctor."

"He sells the natural stuff. He don't sell the stuff that you have to go into CVS or to Walgreens," he said.

Gonzalez believes his patients know the truth.

"What I hear is that he gives waivers to patients that says he's not a doctor," Gonzalez said.

Waiver or no waiver, the state Health Department said it doesn't matter.

The law says the moment you diagnose a condition or setup a treatment plan, you are then practicing medicine, something you can't do without a license.

Haines City Police Department is now asking for all his patients to come forward and find a new doctor.