Marketing your practice – how to get more patients

Dr. Aniruddha Malpani,M.D.

Running a successful private practice can be hard work! While medicine can be a very fulfilling profession, one out of every three doctors reports that medical practice leaves them dissatisfied because they have too little time for themselves or their families. Here in this book we discuss a few points to help you make your practice more fulfilling and satisfactory.

Continuing with the series on Planning Your Career, following  is an extract from my book ” Successful Medical Practice: Winning Strategies for Doctors”.

The word marketing is still taboo for many doctors, and many physicians confuse marketing with advertising. We need to remember that the role physicians play is unique, and that marketing techniques adopted by other industries are not appropriate for doctors. What you need to concentrate on is “practice building”– which is a perfectly ethical activity of promoting your practice that successful doctors have been using for many years.

Traditionally, the only acceptable marketing allowed was “word of mouth”, but today doctors can use additional avenues to promote themselves ethically. The purpose of practise building is to let potential patients and referral sources know who you are, what you do, and when and where you do it.

Why should doctors worry about promoting their practice? After all, if you are good then won’t the patients automatically come to you? If you are the only provider of your particular expertise in the region, then you may not need to worry too much about marketing. But today, doctors compete for patients and if you want to see your practice grow and flourish, you need to market yourself.

Satisfied patients are the best word-of-mouth marketing tool a physician can have because they tell others about the positive experiences they have had with you. In fact, the major premise of this book is that if you can make your practice patient-centric and focus on keeping your patients happy, you will become a successful physician. You should make every effort to exceed your patients’ expectations regarding their health care.

For example, if you phone patients at home after surgery and check on their conditions, you can create a “wow” experience for the patient. Patients who receive a personal phone call from their physician will almost certainly tell dozens of other people about it, generating word-of-mouth referrals. This strategy is easy, costs nothing, and is extremely effective.

Should you attempt to market directly to the public ? If you want your practice to grow, the simple answer is – Yes ! The real question is not “should we do it?,” but “how do we market to patients?”

Since doctors in India cannot advertise, you need to select your marketing tools carefully.

Dr. Aniruddha Malpani,M.D.
Helping patients to talk to doctors !
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Source : MD Consult India Website –

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