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Patients Rating Doctors: Let’s Pay Popular People More!


My patient only had 20 minutes to wait for the van headed to detox. The people who had worked to get him into a detox program already numbered in the double digits. Sam (not his real name) was the classic public inebriate — he woke on sidewalks with the shakes, vomited blood on a regular basis, had lost most of his teeth, and was such a frequent victim of head trauma that depressions and scars ridged his balding skull.

Over the last week, our substance abuse counselor had daisy-chained together an impressive series of phone calls, blood tests, and clearance forms to line him up for one of our rarely-available detox beds.

Only 20 minutes to go.

But it was 20 minutes too long for him.

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