Building Your Medical Practice Takes More Than Medical Skills
I once knew a brilliant courtroom attorney. He had a commanding voice and presence that won him awards in law school. In front of a judge and jury, he was nearly unstoppable. Unfortunately, he was also an enormous money loser at his firm and had to be let go. He simply could not find enough paying clients to keep his job. You can be the best at what you do, but without a system in place to build your medical practice, even the best physician in the world will not be able to keep the lights on. Having the skills is not enough—people need to know about them. You need to find a means of getting out the word; you need a referral-generating newsletter.
Chances are you are a member of a medical association or a local business group. If you aren’t, you need to join one. Relationships with other professionals—especially medical professionals—are an important part of getting out the word. If you are a specialist and you nurture good relationships with a number of general practitioners, you can get them to sign up for your referral-generating newsletter. Even if you rarely speak up, your newsletter will be a reliable reminder of who you are and what you can do.
While Search Engine Optimization and Web sites that “rate the doc” might bring in some patients new to an area or to your insurance carrier, these Web recommendations don’t have the reliability of a trusted medical professional behind them. If you’ve studied social psychology, you know that a patient who comes in inclined to trust you is more likely to actually trust you. Patients who come to you via a referral from a trusted source will feel that they know how good you are in advance. And then, once treated, they will spread the word of your greatness to friends and family. Suddenly, you may have more patients clamoring for your expert skills than you can actually treat!
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