I completely understand how busy you are doctor and I certainly empathize with your schedule. It is never easy to suggest adding more to your already full plate. That said, have you ever wondered why you see Dr. ____ on the news so much? Maybe you think he/she has other physicians in the practice to cover the patient schedule while they are out there in the media talking about the latest technology in medicine. Well, that might be true, but there is ALWAYS time to get your name out in the community if you want your practice to grow. Anything can be carved out of your schedule if it brings value & volume to your business.
It never ceases to amaze me how many of the physicians I consult for have these endless talents but nobody knows about it but them. I have been in physician offices where their picture has been taken with Dr. Oz or a famous athlete & it is sitting all by it’s lonesome in THEIR office! I’m thinking the waiting room might be a better home for a picture that screams conversation piece! There are simple ways of enhancing your opportunity to enhance your credibility and eventually land on the evening news.
It starts with getting involved in the community! As a previous administrator, I can tell you that I was constantly approached for the physician’s expertise on a topic of current interest. There were pharmaceutical companies, parks and recreation directors, community outreach programs, and media outlets, calling to utilize my physicians to speak or lead as the expert in a variety of platforms. I always said yes and took the initial tongue lashing for adding more to their plates. In the end, I was always thanked for pushing them to give back to the community because the rewards were endless. They began to be called upon by others who started to see them as experts in the community.
There are two significant events I can share with you that have brought much notoriety to a practice. The first event is called ‘Playing Unplugged, Just What the Doctor Ordered.’ One of the physicians in the practice was called upon to host this annual event to fight childhood obesity. A day to get the children to unplug from their electronic devices and PLAY! An obvious worthy cause but there was an enormous commitment to host this event. There were monthly meetings, sponsorship encouragement to fellow practitioners, and time away from seeing patients. At the end of the 1st two events the physician and I would always say “I don’t know if we can do this again” & inevitably we would laugh and realize the work put in had always paid off. More of a ‘feel good’ kind of way, knowing we were doing something important in the community to raise awareness.
As a direct result of participating, our physician was called upon to many media outlets to promote the event. He was seen weekly by thousands of viewers watching the news and the practice information was always highlighted during the interview. We didn’t have to ASK to be on the news, it came as a direct result of doing good in the community! This led to an opportunity for me to ask Randi Zuckerberg (yes, FACEBOOK Zuckerberg), sister to Mark Zuckerberg, to speak at our event. She had just written a children’s book called DOT. about the importance of kids putting down their electronic devices and playing outside! The irony was incredible so I took a shot in the dark and asked her to join us and she said YES! I dove into fundraising and the medical community came out in full swing to support this great event that grows every year! Having a celebrity speaker this year presents a great opportunity to book another one next year!
The second community effort was to join PITCH, Pinellas Immunization Team for Community Health. This was a big task force started to encourage families to get educated about the importance of vaccinations. An incredible documentary called Invisible Threat was done by an amazing group of high school students to shine a light on this growing epidemic of families not vaccinating their children. I was offered an opportunity to watch this film and I ran back to the office shouting their praise. I was greeted by the inevitable “we are so busy” speech but again, the physicians looked at the record of success in getting out in the community and I can proudly report as vice-chair of this incredible task force, we are making a difference. The physicians have spoken to crowds of 700 plus and have been on the news countless times. They have been on a number of panel boards to answer questions from families of concern about something they are so very passionate about today! It has brought a great sense of pride to be involved in something we are all passionate about and as a result, public relations is at a level 10.
I encourage you to get out there and do something you believe in, the universe will pay you back again and again. We need you to bring your expertise to the families who may not be able to afford health care but deserve a piece of your great knowledge. It is understood that your time is taken advantage of at times, and we thank you for committing yourself to helping others. Get out there and speak on a platform that commands a large audience and your good deeds will not go unnoticed.