A belief widely held by many medical practitioners is that if you have to market your practice, then you generally aren’t that good as a doctor.
Nothing, however, could be further from the truth.
Being a medical practitoner is a profession. One that deserves to be financially rewarded alongside the reward of helping patients achieve wellness.
Instead what do we have? An environment that mitigates in all directions against private healthcare. You’re fighting with medical aids to get paid, chasing down co-payments from patients, and fighting strangling regulation: from licensing requirements to certificate of need.
Most employed people in the workforce at least get an annual cost-of-living increase. You have to fight tool and nail for almost every rand due to you.
, chasing down payment from patients, and fighting a government that wants to pay you less and less for your services each year, when most employed people get at least a cost-of-living raise.
On the flip side, being an independent practitioner means that you own a business.
A medical practice is a business and must be treated as such in order to maintain profit. When a single revenue stream isn’t working in a business, you add additional streams, diversify your offerings, and move with the flow of the marketplace, in order to generate more profit.
The “P” word may feel slimy to some healthcare providers, but the reality is that profit is what allows you to keep seeing more patients, updating your technology, donating to charity, serving your community, and employing your staff (which accounts for feeding and sheltering their families too.)
The road to more profit, no matter where you derive it from, begins and ends with marketing your practice. Marketing your practice is providing a service to your patients; in a very real sense marketing helps your serve your patients’ medical needs.
Everything you do to build a trusting, expert relationship supports the medical care that you provide. When marketing your practice is done the right way, in an authentic and serving way, it feels good, not slimy. And moreover, it works.
Many medical practitioners sit stuck in their traditions and refuse to move forward with the world of information that is available through the Internet and mobile technology; they risk becoming irrelevant as technology use grows around them.
Ignoring the fact that patients can turn to social media and Google for information, and not just their local healthcare provider, means that your practice will soon face the same fate as those empty telephone booths scattering the urban landscape.
Stop wondering how you are going to convert your medical degree into a marketing degree.
There are programs, plans, experts (Better Practice Management) that will help you develop marketing plans and even execute those plans, or train someone in your office to execute those plans effectively.
The same information that is available to your patients regarding every diagnosis, symptom, and procedure, is a tool for you to use to increase your presence, build your community, and grow your practice to serve more people.