By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
Even the most carefully constructed 37-page Curriculum Vitae is a sure-cure for insomnia. Other than the doctor who compiled the CV, it’s common for heads to droop after the first few pages.
A detailed and current CV is a useful tool in professional circles, but the document is not at all the same as a physician’s reputation. In fact, outside of your own mind, a doctor’s reputation resides in two places: IN PERSON and ONLINE.
The first of these, IN PERSON, is the real, and sometimes imagined, perception that people hold in their minds about you, your practice and the work you do. Every physician has a high level of concern for their professional reputation with colleagues, associates and patients. For most doctors, the IN PERSON side is hard earned, constantly protected and typically golden. But this up-close-and-personal group is comparatively tiny.
The ONLINE audience is, thanks to the Internet, far larger in size and potentially more influential with prospective new patients, the general public and healthcare thought leaders and institutions. What’s more, the online side of a physician’s reputation is often “out-of-sight-and-out-of-mind” and is easily neglected.
Because your online doctor reputation can make or break patient choices, it deserves as much constant care and diligent management as the in-person side of the ledger. In addition to our previous articles in this series (some listed below), the American Medical News lists five ways to manage your online reputation (complete article):
- One: Google yourself
- Two: Correct mistakes and false information
- Three: Create your own content
- Four: Embrace constructive criticism
- Five: Address actionable items
More ways to build a better online physician reputation…
You can’t assume that “it goes without saying” just because you and your practice consistently deliver outstanding clinical service and patient satisfaction. In fact, the best of the best reputation is invisible without awareness. Here are some of the best ways to build a better online physician reputation:
Get onboard with local directory listings. Your personal and practice info is suitable for dozens of reference pages such as Google My Business, Yelp, Local Listings, and many others.
Build out your online profiles. Directory listings need to be complete and up-to-date. Plus, wherever possible, create profiles and descriptions—in ordinary language—that provides depth, texture and personality.
Invite online patient reviews. Make it easy for patients to find and to rate their experience. Monitor these sites regularly and reply as appropriate to reviews.
Expand your online opportunities. Diversify your digital presence via a blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and all similar platforms.
Author original content for other blogs and online publications.
Work it weekly. Patient and the public are always online. Find what they are finding and consistently deliver quality content online.
As one observer points out, you can’t opt-out of reputation management. In person or online, you have the opportunity and tools to influence the fabric of your professional reputation. Granted, it’s not always easy, and some effort may be required. But the investment in time and money is usually modest and exceptionally worthwhile.
For more tips and additional guidance, other articles in this series include: