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How do you build your own ‘brand’ as a doctor ?

M3 India Newsdesk Sep 13, 2017

In the Sunday series, we bring to you this article from our archives most read section which throws light on establishing a clear practice identity to reach a wider patient base.







Doctors today, need to build their reputation, trust and in a way, their brand in their area of practice

Among the intensely competitive health care industry, the fact is, that every health care professional needs to build one's own identity. Establishing a clear practice identity will help your expertise reach a wider patient base. To some, this might seem an unnecessary exercise, but given the current scenario, most patients are likely to make decisions based on brand perception.  While being part of a larger clinical setup allows you to delegate that responsibility to the hospital administration, independent doctors cannot afford to do so. Here are some pointers on branding and medical branding in particular.

Take outside opinions at frequent intervals

Keep checking what people outside are saying about you. As a doctor, you are always dependent on patient referrals to some extent for building your reputation. Keep taking feedback from outsiders, regular patients or get an agency to do it for you if you cannot manage to do it.

Monitor your online presence and information

Ensure that online information about you and your practice is accurate, up to date and informative. Keep checking for any feedback you might have received on the plethora of online social platforms. They might matter, especially if people who don’t come through word-of-mouth references try to look up your phone number/address. Address any unfavorable reviews, and appreciate favourable ones. Better still, have a website.

Maintaining a website

In the current era, the internet plays a huge role in patients' decision-making process.Creating a website and putting yourself up there can be helpful.Websites get a lot done with very little effort, and their management can be outsourced too. Keep your website functional, updated and informative. Beyond the basic information about location, timings and contact information, it should quickly communicate your USPs, the facilities of your setup, your achievements and testimonials, and awards. If you prefer, have some general health information about your specialty, and it may help patients know what they can expect at your clinic. Updated, well-maintained websites tend to appear on the top of searches and help you establish your credibility to a potential patient.



Craft your offline social presence


Doctors are a well-respected community in our country. Your offline social activities can position you as thought-leaders and may influence your practice. Writing or speaking about current trends in your field on meaningful forums such as a daily newspaper/website can be a good brand building strategy. Make an effort to step out of your daily work. Stepping out of your comfort zone helps you to get to know your community and demographic better. It also helps you get visibility, which is critical in major cities with older, established practitioners and larger hospitals.Activities such as offering a series of evening seminars on topics important to your patients, doing radio campaigns and participating or organizing community events can go a long way in establishing your credibility and acceptance. 

Associate selectively with larger brands

Everyone respects a consultant who has been invited to consult at AIIMS or speak at a major medical college. You can keep such associations selective and strategic. Doing so allows you to leverage the larger brands’ credibility. People often associate quality with brands, so if someone sees you have been associated with a reputed hospital as a consultant, it naturally instills a sense of confidence in your patients. Such associations also help you network with other professionals, and you can also collaborate, contribute to each other’s work.

Target your demographic

 As a doctor, your integrity and quality are paramount, and it is critical to have a focused approach to your regular patients. Geographic distance, economic status, the convenience of timings all matter for the patients who come to you, so try and focus on your demographic. If you are attracting patients from beyond this demographic, it seems your brand has now reached a steady acceptability and trust, and it is probably time to work hard to preserve it!

This article was originally published on 13.9.17

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