These days, it seems harder than ever to be a patient. Even if you live in an area that’s well-served in terms of medical care and you’ve got the wherewithal to pull a few strings, getting an appointment and being the quarterback for your own health care can be tough. As irritated as you feel, today’s doctors feel even more frustrated. And doctors in rural areas that have very few care providers and a patient-base that’s increasingly dubious of science have it even worse. Oliver Whang in the NYT (Gift Article): A Rural Doctor Gave Her All. Then Her Heart Broke. “As the political climate around Covid-19 grew heated, and as some of Dr. Becher’s patients and neighbors began to dismiss the science, she became frustrated, then angry. She began to run more, sometimes twice a day, for hours at a time, “raging down the road.” She was mad about the widespread distrust of vaccines; mad about teachers who went to school even after testing positive for the virus; mad about the endemic food insecurity, the county’s lack of affordable transportation, the high rate of fatty liver disease. The indignities layered one atop the next, forming a suffocating stack. More than anything, Dr. Becher was mad at how she couldn’t seem to do anything about any of it. Some days she went home from work, chugged a beer and ran for miles. Then, on April 17, 2021, her heart broke.”

+ If you missed yesterday’s edition, I shared some thoughts on why people seem so obsessed with the Queen’s funeral. The Tears of a Crown.

+ And happy book pub day to the most excellent Dahlia Lithwick. If you haven’t order your copy of Lady Justice, let’s go!