Wondering why your content does not connect with your patients? Try this 1 shift.

a year ago   •   2 min read

By Ernesto Gutierrez, MD
Photo by Afif Kusuma / Unsplash
Table of contents

Every doctor suffers from the curse of knowledge.

As an expert in your field, you don’t remember what it was like before you learned what you now know. Even when trying to “dumb things down”, your content ends up being too advanced for your audience.

When your level of knowledge is a 10, and you “dumb things down”, you end up at a 6 or a 7. Your patients’ is between 1 and 3…

Your audience is seeking answers to the most basic of questions.

Think of the questions your patients ask you on a daily basis.

To you, they are mundane, obvious. But your patients don’t have the training and experience you have. So for them, these questions are anything but obvious.

Yet for some reason, when doctors decide to create content, we skip past the easy ones and go into the “harder stuff”. No wonder we struggle to connect with our patients.

If your patients are asking you obvious questions, it means the answers are not so obvious to them.

Get in the habit of documenting every question your patients, friends, or anyone else asks you regarding your field or specialty.

At the end of the day, take 5 minutes, open a notebook, a google doc, or your preferred note-taking app and write down every question from that day.

Then close your notebook and forget about them. For now.

Whenever you sit down to create content, simply look at your notebook and choose a question to answer.

In case you don’t believe it can be so simple, here are 3 more tips:

Tip #1: Keep it simple. Resist the urge to use jargon or to overcomplicate things. You’re giving an answer to one of your patients, not to a colleague.

Tip #2: Just answer one question. When questions feel “easy”, it is tempting to want to address multiple questions in a single piece of content. Don’t do it. Patients are just looking for the answer to their specific question, not a mini course on your specialty.

Tip #3: Don’t be afraid of answering the same question more than once. Especially in social media. Believe me, nobody remembers your content the way you remember your content. If you keep getting the same question over and over in your office, chances are patients like yours keep having the question. So keep answering it!

In conclusion, patients are not looking to become medical experts. Keep things simple and meet them where they are.

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