Physician marketing isn't the same as your garden variety big box store. Most doctors don't need to do any physician marketing to stay busy. If they're going to do so, it's likely a cash cow business they're trying to sell you. Hospitalist medicine has changed the landscape for how subspecialists get referrals. Before hospitalists become standard in many communities, how other specialists got consulted in the hospital was mostly a matter of outpatient relationships between the primary care doctor and the surgeon, cardiologist, nephrologist etc...
Not anymore. Since hospitalists don't have clinics, and most primary care physicians have left the hospital, consultations inside the hospital are now mostly a matter of relationships built around the hospitalists. Over the years, Dr X from the family medicine clinic may have built strong working relationships with specific groups of doctors outside the hospital. All that inpatient relationship building ends the day that doctor leaves hospital based medicine. For the sub specialist, that means building new relationships with the hospitalists and maintaining the outpatient bread and better referrals.
As always, doctors are probably the best judge of the best doc for the job. We all know which doctors we'd want working on us if we got sick. We all know which ones practice aggressive medicine and which ones are highly conservative. We all know which ones practice reflex medicine and which ones offer actual
thought medical care. We all know which surgeons act like an ass and which ones tell a mean and funny constipation story.
When given a choice between two competent physicians of the same specialty, for Happy, the only physician marketing necessary is
- Be nice.
- Be funny (optional but helpful).
If you tell a hospitalist they shouldn't have become a hospitalist if they didn't want to admit your patients at 3 am, you break rule #1. Alternatively, if you tell them funny stories at 3 am, you are implementing excellent hospitalist satisfaction techniques. Take for example this story detailed below. This orthopedic guy learned rule #2. He doesn't need any more physician marketing. I'll set this story up. An on-call orthopaedic surgeon is getting killed in the ER with admissions and consults. He is two surgical patients deep in less than an hour. He is going to admit a young patient with an ankle fracture and wants a preoperative evaluation by the hospitalist. The hospitalist, already in the ER doing 14 admissions for Too Old To Go Home sees the orthopedic surgeon looking at the digital films of the ankle fracture. And.....ACTION!
Happy: I hear you need a hospitalist consult on your patient.Orthopaedic Surgeon: What, what, what? Which patient? I've got like two of them down here. It's crazy down here.Happy: That one there. The one on the monitor you're looking at. I think it's the 40 year old with an ankle fracture.Orthopaedic Surgeon: Oh yeah. I need a medical evaluation. He's got medical issues, a history of asthma blah, blah, blah.Happy: Laughing Asthma and blah, blah blah? That sounds serious. What kind of fracture does he have?Orthopaedic Surgeon: It's a... (inaudible description of the fracture) ankle fracture.Happy: Oh, I see, so he has a blah, blah, blah fracture.Orthopaedic surgeon: Laughing. Yep.ER Doctor: I'm glad you guys got that all sorted out.
That's how physician marketing is supposed to work. When the surgeon is 2 deep and the hospitalist is 14 deep and everyone is on edge, sometimes a few blah blah blahs between physicians will get you exactly what you want and everyone is happy. And that's how some doctors take care of business. Remember rule #2. It works. This original Happy funny orthopedic ecard helps to explain.
This post is for entertainment purposes only and likely contains humor only understood by those in a healthcare profession. Read at your own risk.