Why do patients overlook the best physicians and end up with quacks?

10 months ago   •   1 min read

By Ernesto Gutierrez, MD
Photo by Sander Sammy / Unsplash
Table of contents

Doctors believe that, when given a choice, patients will choose the best doctor.

It’s why we spend so long in specialties, sub-specialties, fellowships, etc… We believe as long as we put in the time and effort into our clinical skills, patients will recognize it.

But here’s the thing: patients don’t know –objectively– what makes you a good physician.

Patients choose the doctor they perceive as the best.

Think of another doctor.

Maybe he doesn’t have as many years of experience as you. Also, you trained at a more prestigious hospital. But, as a patient is considering both your practices, they noticed that he was interviewed in the Dr. Oz show.

Who do you think this patient perceives as the better doctor?

You may scoff at this, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

Smart doctors actively build their perceived value.

Building your thought leadership must be amongst your vital functions. Here’s how you do it.

Tip #1: Get super clear on who is your ideal patient.

Stop trying to appeal to everyone. Your goal is not to be kind of valuable to everyone, but super valuable to a few.

Tip #2: Choose ONE channel to focus your time on.

Let’s face it. You don’t have time to be everywhere. Instead, choose one platform and focus 100% of your efforts there.

Tip #3: Don’t be afraid of criticism.

This is the main reason why doctors don’t put themselves out there.

I used to fear criticism too. But my mentor at the time taught me that:

“If you’re not pissing someone off, you’re not playing big enough.” – Darren Hardy

This does not mean I actively seek to piss people off. But when it happens, I know I’m on the right path.

Patients can only choose the doctor they perceive as the best. It’s up to you to make sure your training and expertise are not overlooked because you fear standing out.

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