To anyone that met him, Dr. William Hamman was undoubtedly impressive. Not only was he a commercial airline pilot, but also one of the nation's top cardiologists.
When not zipping over America while flying the friendly skies for United Airlines, Hamman was lecturing at medical conferences, holding prestigious hospital posts and working with millions in research grants.
There was only one problem: Dr. William Hamman is not actually a doctor.
After years of duping some of the smartest doctors around and even the American Medical Assocation, an investigation by The Associated Press found that Hamman had no medical residency, no fellowship, no doctoral degree or the 15 years of clinical experience he claimed to have. Hamman did apparently go to medical school for a few years, but dropped out before he graduated, the AP reported.
"When he wanted to seek this grant, they discovered that he did not have an M.D. degree," Marilynn Marchione, a medical writer for the AP told "Good Morning America." "And when they checked further, it appeared he did not have a PhD degree either."
Hamman is actually a pilot, according to a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman, though United Airlines has grounded him after the revelations about his deception.
Hamman apparently never treated a patient, but his colleagues said they were stunned by the man who was able to talk the talk.
He was an educator and researcher at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., but resigned after the credentials check revealed discrepancies, a hospital spokeswoman told the AP.
"I was shocked to hear the news," Dr. W. Douglas Weaver, who was president of a cardiology group when it gave Hamman a training contract for up to $250,000 plus travel a few years ago, told the AP. "He was totally dedicated to what he was doing, and there is a real need for team-based education in medicine."
Hamman did not comment on the report, but his lawyer, David Nacht, confirmed that he did not have the medical or doctoral degrees he claimed.
"It's Mr. Hamman's desire that he clear up any misconceptions about his background that he has caused. He wants to be completely straightforward about it," Nacht told the AP.
CLICK HERE to read the full report by The Associated Press.