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Dr. Carrie E. Nelson, MD, MS, FAAFP, is a family physician, mother of three and the Illinois Medical Director of the Your Healthcare Plus Medicaid Disease Management Program for McKesson Health Solutions. She blogs regularly at

The Emergency Room and the Wait

Carrie Nelson | February 7, 2011
This is a HUGE problem. We have a lot of unnecessary hospital emergency department (ED) use in this country. Stories like this one in which a very ill child was kept waiting dangerously long to see the doctor are a natural consequence of ED overcrowding. You can blame the healthcare workers for not recognizing the severity of her illness. You can blame your doctor for those interminable waits on the phone that cause you to not even want to pick up the phone to request a same day appointment.