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Doctor becomes medical malpractice attorney

An accident in a baseball game 12 years ago broke bones in his hand and shattered his career as a surgeon. Prevented from answering the call as a doctor, he turned to a new calling: the study of law and life as a medical malpractice attorney.

Lawrence Schlachter has been a surgeon and is now a lawyer fighting for patients who have suffered at the hands of negligent physicians, nurses or hospital staff.

Covington readers of the Wall Street Journal might recognize Schlachter as the man who recently wrote the controversial op-ed for the publication: "More Must Be Done To Expose Bad Doctors." He cited a study not ago published in the New England Journal of Medicine that stated that 1 percent of doctors are responsible for almost one third of malpractice claims that are paid.

In a recent interview with ProPublica, the former doctor said that as a lawyer, he has seen physicians and hospital officials lie, cover up and keep patients and family in the dark about medical errors. As a doctor, he saw the same dishonesty "to a limited extent," he said, but noted that unless a doctor is sued for malpractice, they don't get exposed to the court proceedings or testimony.

He says that the real problem is that doctors and hospitals are incapable of regulating themselves. Like members of every other profession or industry, doctors "will act in their own self-interest and protect their own self-interest."

It's why he wants more regulation of the medical industry by outsiders. Doctors are afraid to come out and speak in court or in public about the mistakes peers make.

For those injured in the northern Kentucky or southwest Ohio, there are attorneys available who will help you pursue full compensation for injuries due to substandard medical care or negligence.

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