Dr. Donal Billig, the former top heart surgeon at Bethesda Naval Hospital court-martialed in 1986 on charges he bungled operations that led to the deaths of three patients, is practicing medicine once again, according to a report published Saturday.
Billig, 60, was sentenced to Fort Leavenworth.A military review panel overturned the conviction in 1988, with the appellate judges saying Billig was the victim of a smear campaign by military prosecutors eager to find a scapegoat for inferior care at military hospitals.
Bethesda Naval Hospital was where President Bush was taken last weekend when he suffered an irregular heartbeat while jogging.
U.S. News & World Report said that Billig spent two years looking for a job before he was hired at a three-doctor clinic called the Prompt Care Walk-In Clinic in Washington.
"The patients like him," said Dr. Armando Figueroa, head of the clinic.
In the eight months Billig has worked at the clinic, only two patients have recognized his name.
Billig doesn't do surgery, the magazine said. Most of his time he treats colds, sore throats and sometimes stitches up a cut finger.
"It's a miracle I'm back doing this," Billig, who recently remarried and has a newborn son, told U.S. News.