I saw a dermatologist yesterday, just to make sure a new mole wasn’t cancerous. (Hello, family history of melanoma!) And I have to admit, derm started to look like a pretty sweet career – and not because skin is that interesting to me. At least, I’m fairly certain I’ve never said the words “skin” and “interesting” in the same sentence – but somewhere between the elevator and the lobby I decided I could easily be persuaded.
All the doctors came into the waiting room to greet their own patients, everyone looked happy, and the waiting room was criminally expensive-looking. They might as well have just thrown $100 bills at the walls and put up a sign that said, “Haha, as a practice, we’re so rich we just can’t fit these things in our wallets anymore”. Lo, this was surely the promised land of medicine.
Doctor: Hi! What brings you in today?
Me: Oh, my internist suggested this mole be checked out by “someone who actually knows what they’re doing.” He’s comforting like that.
Doctor: Hmm. Yeah, that’s not cancerous – but come back if it changes. Anything else? *reaches for doorknob*
Me: (... There is no way in hell I am having a 30 second appointment after spending an hour on the subway.) Uhh.. Yes! Yes there is.
Me: Could I get a prescription for my acne?
Doctor: Oh! Okay. *looks at my face* Hmm, it’s very mild. Are you just highly motivated?
Me: Yes. (No. But what the hell, this specialty looks tempting, and I would need a perfect face to match into it. I think.)
Doctor: In that case, I’d suggest Epiduo. Here, have a fist-full of tiny samples and a prescription! And here’s a coupon that will make the full bottle free!
Me: Oh, super cool.
But I couldn’t find the ‘catch’ on the coupon. I spent the train ride home trying to figure out why the hell a pharm company would give their product away for free. I mean, what kind of strategy is that? I decided it had either recently lost market share due to horrible side-effects, or it was new.
Then I looked it up online. No, it hadn’t lost market share, and it wasn’t new. But each subsequent bottle will cost me $100.
…. So that strategy makes sense now.