The doctor performed a cursory examination, concluded the baby had an ear infection, and prescribed an antibiotic.
Later that day, the mother noticed what seemed like a bone popping in the baby's side and thought this might be the source of the discomfort.
Concerned, she went right back to the clinic to show the pediatrician.
The doctor claimed that he could not feel any popping and reassured the mother that the baby had an ear infection.
By the next day, the baby was in even worse shape. So the father took her to the hospital and insisted on an X-ray.
The parents' instinct turned out to be correct– the baby had a mild fracture of her ribs.
Now– this is problem #1 in our story. Certainly the US health care industry is filled some incredibly hard-working and talented professionals.
But the system is designed the churn and burn… to push people through the clinics as quickly as possible.
The standard of care now is to prescribe some medication (usually antibiotics) and send people on their way without taking the time to conduct a comprehensive examination.
This is a major reason why the United States typically ranks so poorly in global health care studies.
According to one study by the Commonwealth Fund and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, the US ranked dead last among 11 other wealthy countries (UK, New Zealand, Canada, etc.) in terms of quality of care… yet ranked #1 in terms of cost.
Moreover, recent research published by the Mayo Clinic shows that a full 20% of patients in the United States who have a serious medical condition are mis-diagnosed by their physicians.
This is a pretty sad testament to the state of medical care in the Land of the Free.