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Advisory Board Member
National Association of State Medicaid
Western Michigan University
Western Michigan University College of Aviation
bachelor of science degree
medical and doctoral degrees
University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Quality Colloquium
Capt. William R. Hamman, MD, PhD
Co-Director College of Aviation, United Airlines Training Center, Denver, CO
William Hamman: Wisconsin's flying fake cardiologist sailed past many who easily could have caught him | Reporting on Health
William Hamman: Wisconsin's flying fake cardiologist sailed past many who easily could have caught him
William Hamman: Wisconsin's flying fake cardiologist sailed past many who easily could have caught him How did William Hamman, the United Airlines pilot who faked being a cardiologist, get away with it? By speaking with authority and knowing that nobody, including the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board, was going to bother to fact-check his résumé. Hamman, 58, did have a license to fly. But he did not have a medical degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as he had claimed, nor any certification in cardiology. Hamman worked there as co-director of its Center of Excellence for Simulation Research. According to the Detroit Free Press, Hamman helped land millions of dollars in research grants for Western and by training medical staff in simulated medical exercises. Hamman had given training talks to ER doctors. Scary. He also spoke last year at an ACC convention. Pause to think about that. This non-cardiologist, non-doctor has been a featured speaker, giving cardiologists advice about how they should treat patients. Worse yet, as Marc Abrahams noted on Improbable Research, Hamman was touted as the rainmaker for $150,000 in grant funding from the American College of Cardiology last year. An ACCME spokesman told Marchione that the council would not revoke any education credits that doctors earned when taking continuing medical education classes with Hamman. From Marchione's story: "As long ago as 1992, an FAA workshop listed Hamman as an M.D. from United's flight center in Denver. This session, which Mester took, was led by Dr. William Hamman, a Michigan cardiologist and United Airlines pilot. As an airline captain, everything I do is performance-based," with frequent testing on simulators of landings, takeoffs and other skills, Hamman said. Hamman, loving the spotlight, said, "I couldn't handle a cardiology practice full-time. What I have been able to weave together, which I very much enjoy, is specialty projects or research in healthcare along with my flight schedule."Why would a medical specialty publication not make sure that a doctor had all the credentials he was claiming? Everyone who has helped Hamman in his fakery needs to publish a clarification for their audience. Other outlets haven't been so self-effacing. In an interview last year, the Cath Lab Digest reporter repeated Hamman's lies by saying, "You have been a pilot for thirty years and a clinician for fifteen years. Hamman, loving the spotlight, said, "I couldn't handle a cardiology practice full-time. What I have been able to weave together, which I very much enjoy, is specialty projects or research in healthcare along with my flight schedule."Why would a medical specialty publication not make sure that a doctor had all the credentials he was claiming? Everyone who has helped Hamman in his fakery needs to publish a clarification for their audience. 9. United Airlines. The airline seems to have been given a pass in most of the media coverage of Hamman, with the assumption being that officials there wouldn't have needed to check medical credentials to allow him to fly. As Hamman told Cath Lab Digest, "I was never an active physician for United Airlines; however, because I was a physician, I think it opened up some doors at United, and I ended up as manager of quality and risk assessment. Those at United who were impressed with Hamman's degree should have checked it as carefully as they presumably did his flying credentials. 10. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The group gave Hamman and his colleagues at Western a $2.8 million grant in 2005 to expand flight simulation training into medical settings. Hamman's" supposed medical expertise was used in luring that cash. 11. LUMEN, the symposium for optimal treatments in myocardial infarction. Marchione reported: "Hamman had led sessions in 2009 and earlier this year" at LUMEN. Hamman "seemed to understand the jobs of the EMS, emergency room and cardiac catheterization lab staffs and how they needed to work together," Dr. Sameer Mehta, a Miami cardiologist who runs LUMEN, told Marchione. 12. William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. Hamman was hired to work there as an educator and researcher in 2009, but nobody apparently thought to check his licensing. When he applied for a grant, though, someone on the staff at Beaumont finally did check, according to Marchione's story. The Detroit Free Press and other outlets have reported that the staff person contacted the University of Wisconsin -Madison and found out that, no, he was not an MD. Hamman resigned quietly in June. United Airlines somehow heard about his lack of a degree and stopped him from flying in August. Four months later, Marchione's story broke, and now everyone else knows the truth, too. 13. The Wisconsin Board of Medical Examiners.Antidote has seen the board take tough action on people who lie. In May 2009, the board revoked the license of a doctor with a pattern of overprescribing drugs who claimed that his girlfriend had ordered painkillers and other drugs without his knowledge and had them shipped to his office. The board can also take more limited disciplinary actions. In Hamman, the board has someone who claimed to have earned his MD from the University of Wisconsin. He has been making this claim for years, and it was the University of Wisconsin who finally set the record straight. It is impossible to know for certain, but Antidote is willing to bet that at some point in Hamman's career, someone has called the Wisconsin board to ask about the doctor's degree. Like the AMA, they may have decided to just keep quiet about what they found and allow Hamman to change his title to "Captain" for the purposes of a seminar or grant application, but if the inquiry was made, the board knew. And now, the board knows for certain. Doctors Behaving Badly, William Hamman, Wisconsin Doctors Behaving Badly, William Hamman, Wisconsin
William Hamman, MD, PhD Captain, United Airlines; Co-Director, College of Aviation, Center of Excellence for Simulation Research, Western Michigan University
William Hamman, M.D., Ph.D
Hamman, M.D., Ph.D, serves as the Director of Medical Simulation & Research in the Surgical Learning Center. Dr. Hamman is an internationally recognized authority in the area of team-based performance enhancement and specifically the use of in situ simulation to improve human performance in high risk team-centered health care environments. With thirty years of experience as an international airline pilot for United Airlines and fifteen years as a clinician in cardiology, Dr. Hamman joins us from Western Michigan University's College of Aviation where he was a research scientist and the Director of the Center for Human Performance and Simulation. He has made significant contributions in raising standards in both the airline and healthcare industries by establishing risk assessment and human performance improvement programs through the use of simulation. While working for United Airlines, Dr. Hamman held the position of Manager of Human Factors and Risk Assessment. He also contributed to the development of team training for flight crews in the Advanced Qualification Program (AQP) as well as sat on various focus groups for the Air Transport Association, Airline Pilot Association, and NASA.
AIAMC Annual Meeting Faculty Members
William Hamman, MD, PhD
Director, Medical Simulation & Research William Beaumont Hospital