Jon Dawson: Doctor’s office located in funeral home faces opposition

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When Mark Frost decided to start his own medical practice in Kinston, he had no idea what he was in for.

“I’m an ear, nose and throat man,” Frost said. “To me, that’s as American as apple pie and French fries. Apparently, some people around here don’t agree with me.”

Frost, 46, is originally from Brooklyn. His parents, Frances and Scott, ran a chain of funeral parlors in New York City until they retired four years ago. After high school, Mark Frost admits he was adrift.

“I was always a hard worker, but at 18, I was directionless,” Frost said. “My parents offered to bring me into the family business, so I accepted. After a few years working at the funeral home I realized I wanted to become a doctor.”

Although his parents were supportive, they were initially skeptical.

“I thought Mark becoming a doctor would be bad for our funeral home business,” Frances Frost said from her home in New Mexico. “People were already starting to eat healthier and exercise, so the last thing our industry needed was another healer.”

The training Mark Frost received while working at his parent’s funeral home gave him a leg up in medical school.

“My fellow students were dreading the day we’d start working with cadavers,” Frost said. “It actually reminded me of home.”

Everything a builder needs is at Blizzard Building Supply, located at 405 Walson Avenue, Kinston.

During a stint as an emergency room doctor in Detroit, Frost decided he was tired of having to wear a bulletproof vest while taking patients’ temperatures.

“I have family in Kinston and they suggested it would be a good place to start a practice,” Frost said. “When I started checking out office space in the area, I realized all of the available buildings were too big for a medical office, so I decided to use the extra space for a second business.”

That second business? A funeral home.

“Being trained as a physician and a mortician, I decided to open the world’s first doctor’s office/funeral home,” Frost said. “It would be convenient for customers who’d stopped buying ripe bananas, and if a patient were to need a new elbow or thumb, I’d have a fresh inventory right next door.

“To sweeten the deal, if we use your dearly departed Uncle Mortimer for spare parts, we’ll knock 10 percent off the price of the funeral.”

Fall has fallen at Bannister’s Fine Gifts, located at 106 West Railroad Street in La Grange.

Storm clouds on the horizon struggled to match the intensity on the faces of protesters outside Frost’s office on Monday. Heather Graham, 33, of Jenny Lind, yelled insults at Dr. Frost while a group of 13 cheered her on.

“It is a conflict of interest to portray yourself as a healer while running a funeral home in the same building,” Graham told the crowd. “One-stop shopping is one thing, but this is ridiculous.”

Undeterred by the protesters, Frost says there are benefits to operating a funeral home next to a medical practice.

“Sometimes when I tell a patient they need to alter their diet or stop drinking, I get the feeling they’re not taking me seriously,” Frost said. “Now, I can walk them over to the morgue and ask them to have a look at the fellow behind door No. 3. You’ve never seen someone slim down so fast; sometimes before they even make it out of the room.”

Dr. Frost’s Healatorium is located at 1419 Countrybrook Drive, Kinston. Two-for-one specials are available every Tuesday in November.

Jon Dawson’s books are available at

You can hear Jon weekdays on the Bryan Hanks Show:

The entire archive of shows can be found at

The Bryan Hanks Show airs on 960-AM in Kinston and daily at 7 a.m. & 3 p.m. It also airs on the suite of stations in New Bern and Greenville (107.5-FM) at 6 p.m.

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