Friday, November 12, 2010
Are you losing your patients to other doctors ?
Competition has now become a fact of life. It's becoming even more fierce, especially in large cities.
Doctors are getting squeezed on all sides. Patients have lots of demands - and thanks to the internet, they are very well informed which means they have lots of questions which need to be answered . Corporate hospitals have huge advertising and marketing budgets; while insurance companies are putting caps on the amounts they are willing to pay - and to add insult to injury, often fail to pay on time.
So what can you do ?
The tragedy is that there are many skilled, compassionate qualified doctors who sit in their consulting rooms and twiddle their thumbs because they do not have enough patients. When they see their colleagues with full waiting rooms , this causes them major heart burn . They find that fact that even though they may be far better doctors, they have far fewer patients !
Rather than complain about how unfair life it, the question you should ask yourself if - If I am so smart, then why aren't I doing better in practise ? Complaining will not help !
Some doctors believe that the doctors who are doing well only do so because they use underhand means to get their patients. While this may be true in some instances, it's definitely not true for all doctors whose practises are flourishing ! Rather than imitate bad practises, why not learn to emulate the best practises ?
You might want to do a reality check - being good at your work and respected by your peers doesn’t mean that the patients you want to reach can find you.
You may be the best surgeon in town. Professionally, you may be respected - and whenever doctors want surgery done for themselves or their family members, they will come to you. Your colleagues may respect you as one of the top people in your - but you may still have no patients, because your prospective patients can’t find you !
Why are you making it harder for your patients to get to you ?
If you are a good doctor, isn't it your responsibility to reach out to your patients, so they can make use of your high quality services and expertise ? Being academically smart is not the same as being street smart - these are complementary skills. The good news is that if you are intelligent, you can learn how to be street smart as well ! It 's a question of IQ versus EQ - and if your IQ is good enough, you can work on improving your EQ as well !
You need to be proactive and to reach out to your patients ! Cut out the middleman ! Patients are hungry for reliable medical information from trusted doctors - and if you provide this, you'll have lots of patients in your clinic.
The best way to reach out to patients is by using the internet - and I think it's every doctor's responsibility and duty to teach patients by using the web !
If putting up a website seems to be a daunting or expensive proposition, the good news is that it's now become inexpensive and simple to do so ! Check out www.websitefordoctors.in, which is run by Plus91, a company in which I am an angel investor.