“It would be ideal to have Dr. Marcus Welby looking in on you and coordinating everything, and giving you a big reassuring smile but that’s not the reality right now,” said Karen Curtiss, Founder of the Care Partner Project, who wrote a handbook about managing the care of a hospitalized relative, based on her own experiences ( “Safe & Sound in the Hospital” available through thecarepartnerproject.org).

Curtiss points out that the patient has a right to know the name and position of the physician who is overseeing their hospital care. All care providers should introduce themselves when they come into the room; if they don’t, remind them.