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Misguided Reasons Why Some Doctors Don’t Do Marketing

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

No ads signFear. Risk. Rationalization. It’s likely that we have not heard all the reasons that doctors DO NOT advertise. Perhaps only a million or so.

For one thing, the list of "not doing marketing" is nearly endless. Secondly, the doctors and healthcare professionals who we talk to most often have left that old-school thinking behind and have squared-off with the competitive realities of business.

What’s more, many of our clients, and the medical practices that consult with us, invest their mental energy achieving their marketing objectives.

Most are positive minded, “how-to” thinkers who set and achieve goals for success. In the face of unprecedented competition in health care delivery, they embrace an entrepreneurial spirit.

Given this backdrop, an article by Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA, in MD Magazine jumped out at us, and deserves a spotlight. In Doctors Don't Do Marketing, Dr. Meyers lists ten all-too-familiar reasons why some doctors are locked into a misguided mindset of anti-marketing. A few of these include:

  • “They don't think it's part of their job. ‘I take care of patients, not business.’
  • “They don't want to spend the money. ‘My costs are high enough.’
  • “They question the return on investment. ‘Show me it works and how I benefit.’”

Dr. Meyers has respected credentials in both healthcare and in business. He is Emeritus Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health, and founding President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs.

“The old days of spending Wednesday's on the golf course schmoozing potential referral sources are long gone. However, most doctors are not convinced that teeing up a marketing plan makes much sense either, and they are suspect of the pros in the clubhouse trying to convince them otherwise.”

But perhaps the strongest takeaway here is that this is doctor-to-doctor talk and a dose of business reality. Neither the clubhouse pros, Dr. Meyers or Healthcare Success are promoting anything except the need to improve your game in the face of tough competition...and be a winner.

RELATED: On the upside, you’ll find a list of 16 important reasons why doctors, medical practices and hospitals are doing marketing in healthcare on this page.

Stewart Gandolf, MBA

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