Medicine: Curing the Emergency Room

When Dr. Gail Anderson split open his finger in a Saturday backyard accident recently he knew just where to go. The Los Angeles County—University of Southern California Medical Center is only minutes from his home and has one of the best-equipped emergency rooms in the area. The experience was not totally satisfactory, however. Though the injury obviously made writing difficult, a clerk insisted that he fill out a form. Then he had to wait 90 minutes before the finger was stitched.

At least the emergency-room staff could not be accused of favoritism. Upon...

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