Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Working on the First Coast; Jacksonville Attorney's Other Job Is as a Doctor They Complement Each Other, He Says

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Working on the First Coast; Jacksonville Attorney's Other Job Is as a Doctor They Complement Each Other, He Says

Article excerpt

Byline: Drew Dixon

Picking up a second job isn't all that unusual these days, but Andrew Sauer has two of the most intense jobs in Jacksonville: He's a pediatric emergency physician at Wolfson Children's Hospital and a medical malpractice and health care attorney.

Sauer's day job is his law work at the firm Smith Hulsey & Busey. He "moonlights" at Wolfson about four to five shifts each month where he provides emergency room medical treatment for kids rushed to the hospital by their families or at times by ambulance. Each shift lasts eight to 12 hours.

The dual job track has been ongoing for about six years for the 48-year-old Sauer, who was solely practicing medicine until he passed the Florida Bar in 2008 after completing his curriculum at Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville.

Sauer basically inverted the two careers going full-time in law and part-time in medicine. He completed his five years in law school while he and his wife raised a daughter and son at their home in Mandarin.

A lot of people have two jobs these days, it's not uncommon. But it would be pretty safe to say yours are pretty uncommon. How can you possibly balance that?

I think what it comes down to in both the practice of each profession and personally is prioritizing what's important and not losing sight of that. That pretty much informs the balancing of the two professions with personal time and time with my family.

How do the two professions interlock and how important is it to have that type of background for either profession?

They complement each other well.

Medical background comes into play every day in defending our medical malpractice cases from the standpoint of the science and medicine behind each case, which can get quite technical in nature and also the knowledge of how institutions work. ...

How important is your work as a physician in developing your legal career?

It's very helpful and at times it's been indispensable in terms of being familiar with the diagnostic process. One of the dichotomies between law and medicine is that medicine and science in general is prospective in thought process. ... Contrast that with the legal profession and when a lawsuit is filed, the thinking is retrospective. That is, a certain result happened and a theory is developed to explain that result based on events that subsequently happened, that the physician or any health care provider may not have had and frequently did not have at that time.

The two thought processes are quite distinct and sometimes at odds with each other.

Your experience of becoming an attorney, how has that impacted you as a physician? Has it changed your thinking in any way in your approach or awareness?

The longer I practice medicine, the more I come to be humbled by how well a patient can look and yet still have a serious problem. …

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