Prominent Syracuse surgeon fined $10K, ordered to psych therapy for slapping sleeping patients


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SYRACUSE, New York — A prominent orthopedic surgeon has been fined $10,000, placed on probation for three years and ordered to get psychiatric therapy for slapping anesthetized patients on the buttocks and insulting them before surgery.

The Syracuse Post-Standard ( ) reports that 48-year-old Dr. Michael Clarke of Manlius did not contest the negligence charge in a signed agreement with the state Board of Professional Medical Conduct. Clarke told investigators he slapped patients to check anesthesia levels.

Clarke was suspended by St. Joseph's Hospital in February 2014 after the allegations surfaced. Clarke specializes in hip replacements and has been operating at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse since St. Joseph's suspended him.

The newspaper reports that St. Joseph's lost more than $4 million during the first six months of 2014, mostly due to the surgeon's departure.

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