I have had a couple of emergency room admissions as a patient; usually, I was out cold or damned close to it. Sometimes I think I was just in pain or so uncomfortable or so horrendous that I blocked out the memory entirely. Other people, people who seem to know something about medicine, did tell me about things that I did not remember.
Putting their accounts together with what I did check out or do remember, I am convinced that nothing wrong or horrible was ever done to me in an American emergency room. Not in my late teens and early twenties when I worked in an emergency room in downtown Boston, although many of the technologies we now take for granted were not
I have never been cared for in a French emergency room, except for the time the left half of my face and windpipe swelled up because of an acute allergy to some rare species of white celery that grows in France. I was taken to the emergency room because I felt quite ill indeed. But by the time I got there the symptoms had gone away. They delegated an advanced medical student (perhaps more accurately, a young intern) to talk to me and I was sent home with no treatment, except being told never to eat that rare kind of celery again, which I have not. I do, however remember that interview in some detail. I can tell you, from that interview as well as from my studies, that French doctors, and probably others who study in countries with similar systems, do not think the same way that American doctors do. Read more on American Medicine: Good at Acute Care But Lousy With Chronic Illness…