Are Honors for Physicians the New Political Diploma Mill?

The congressmen said nothing and quickly called for a question from another Physician of the Year, Mueller said .

Later that day, Bush spoke at the NRCC dinner, thanking the attendees for their "investment" in the party. "You're making a wise investment about the future of this country, an investment made upon principle, an investment made upon freedom, an investment that will help us stay a prosperous nation, and an investment that will allow each and every American to rise to his or her own God-given talents," he said.

And some of the other winners told Mueller that his $1,250 fee to the NRCC was a wise investment indeed. He should use the award as a marketing tool, they said, as an impressive honor he could tell patients. And on the Internet, ABC News found physicians across the country doing just that -- listing NRCC's Physician of the Year among their honors and credentials.

Wertheimer warned that the award was misleading and that they should add the award was given "because I paid for this certificate, not for anything else that happened."

A Republican spokesman said there were thousands of doctors around the country content with their Physicians of the Year awards, and that there was nothing about the program to apologize for.

ABC News' Rhonda Schwartz, Simon Surowicz and Jessica Wang contributed to this story.

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