Ouch, inexcusably off topic:
I am no expert on pain, but I suppose I am familiar with my own pain.  They say blue eyed people do not feel pain as much as dark eyed people; don’t I wish.  I suppose the worst pain I ever felt was in college when I caught a football badly and sprained a thumb, but it only lasted a minute.

This year I have had a skin condition that comes in at number two, but it has lasted months.  I dropped by the drugstore for a refill of a prescription, and was told I could not get it filled until the next day.  Driven half mad with pain I called my doctor and no, she would not write a prescription to tide me over.  Then this past week she changed me to a different medication, leaving just enough of the old medication to get through the day and the next morning.  I was also required to sign a paper promising, among other things, not to change pharmacies for the next three months.  When I went to get the new  prescription filled I was told it would have to be ordered.  That was on Wednesday; it came in late Friday. 

When I was studying radiology in Sweden, many years ago the professor was a man of the highest reputation, yet he insisted on taking his turn with the residents reading studies.  Once or twice a morning we would walk through the waiting room and ask the patients whether all was well, how long they had been waiting and so forth.  I do not believe that a person suffering from intense pain in Sweden would be required to wait two days for treatment, and likely the same goes for other countries with a highly developed social safety net. 

At the other end of the scale, I imagine that if I went to a doctor’s office in some country with a very poor safety net, where everything was cash on the table, I would not be so imposed on. 

It is a commonplace that American medicine is the most expensive in the world but that our statistics do not show us close to the top in our actual health.  If you ask me today, I will tell you that – barring some countries that are very unfortunate indeed – American medicine is the worst in the world.  I have no suggestion as to how to improve the system.  In fact I am at my wits end how to deal with it.  Changing doctors seems logical, but in fact I had already consulted two others, both of whom brushed me off. 

Sorry.  I thought you ought to know.

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