People around the world want the same thing from their doctors. First, do no harm. Second, take a look at this weird bump and tell me if I should get worried.
The job is basically the same in many countries around the world. But the pay is wildly different. The median salary for U.S. doctors is about $250,000 a year. In Western Europe, it's less than half that. In developing countries, the salaries are even lower.
If you find yourself in the emergency department and the doctor says he wants to keep you at the hospital for "observation," take heed. Depending on the hospital, observation can mean very different things for both your medical care and your wallet.
At its best, placing patients on observation allows hospital staff to closely monitor and intensively treat patients whose condition is unstable or unclear. They might have chest pain, for example, or need a little time to recover from a migraine or an asthma attack before being sent home.