When I call my GP to get an appointment for an annual exam, there's usually a 2 month wait. When I discussed correcting my lazy eye with a doctor, he said it would take a month just to get on the surgical calendar. But when I called up the Lasik center here in town, they had me come in for a consultation/screening exam within 4 days. At that appointment, I was told that I had thick, burly, strapping corneas and am therefore a fine candidate for laser eye surgery.
"Great, let's schedule it now."
"Our first available appointment is ... *taps keyboard* ... Thursday."
"Yes, can you come in at one?"
However, since I wear contacts every day and you're supposed to let your eyes go naked for several days prior to Lasik, I had to demur. For a whole week.
I'm not sure to what degree this super-efficient service is profit driven (probably a lot), the extent to which it's enabled by the lack of any insurance paperwork (presumably they take insurance for more necessary procedures, so they still have billing clerks and all those other insane flapper-jobs), or how much stems from the fact that the procedure takes TEN MINUTES,* but the whole thing blows my freaking mind. I have friends who live abroad who tell tales of similarly speedy medical appointments, but that is of course at the opposite end of the public/private spectrum.
Of course, now I only have a short time to fret over the giant packet of consent forms, most of which seems aimed at making you aware that if you inadvertently rub your eye soon after the surgery, your corneal flap** will wrinkle and everything will be ruined.
* Now think about how many procedures this doc can do in his two days per week of operating. Payment due in full prior to surgery.
** Despite being raised with OR anecdotes as dinner-table conversation, thinking about corneal flaps makes me want to throw up. And tie my hands down for weeks after Lasik.