Managing Doctors, Funeral Directors, Other Professionals

Richard Mayberry's Mother
  • My father with our family's aid had responsibility for my mother's final illness; she died August 13, 2010
  • Understanding the interplay of medical conditions facing my mother [e.g. Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, heart attacks, depression and other age related conditions] helped understand her behavior  
  • Keeping a multitude of doctors [each specializing in each of these different medical conditions] updated on what the other specialists were saying, aided coordination of medical care
  • Navigating a complicated medication regime including 17 different medications with many taken different schedules during the day and night was a true challenge that my father ably handled by putting systems in place, and  
  • Not being able to take his eye off the ball least some critical element fall between the cracks was an ever present stress for my father and our family as it is for every family.

Lessons Leaned 

Have a Talking Knowledge of the Medical Condition 

Before making decisions recommended by your doctor.

An excellent source is the 


Self-Educate when facing major medical conditions or treatment  choices:
  • Specialists focus one medical problem--not the whole person
  • Specialists depend on the patient to coordinate medical records among doctors
  • Doctors often don't appear to consider the side effects of multiple prescriptions written by multiple doctors on a patient
  • Expect limited face time with a doctor
Understand, upfront, that 
  • The traditional "Doctor-Patient" Relationship is gone with the times
  • Usually you will see medical assistant, nurses, and physician assistants-not a doctor
  • Older adults take more time physicians time than younger adults; yet insurance pays the same medical fee irrespective of age
  • These dynamics impede difficult diagnosis  
Learn more from an excellent book, "How Doctor's Think" by Jerome Groopman, M.D.