DPC News

Dear Doctors, ‘Who moved your cheese?’

I love this quote from the book Who Moved My Cheese? where best selling author, Spencer Johnson writes, “See what you’re doing wrong, laugh at it, change and do better.”

By Michael Tetreault, Editor

Photo Credit/Source: (C) Concierge Medicine Today, LLC/The DocPreneur Leadership Podcast

APRIL 2022 – ATLANTA, GA USA – Why is it that we never see a Doctor’s office logo on the local swim sponsor t-shirt or elementary school cafeteria? What does a tree service, a grocery store and a pizza place know that Doctor’s don’t?

Often the argument I hear outside of the free market healthcare delivery space is ‘I don’t treat kids, so advertising at a kids elementary school is a waste of money.’

Yeah, I totally get that. Until you unpack it and realize who is really staring at those logos in the basketball gymnasium for 90-minutes twice a week.

It’s the adult. It’s the single dad, the hurried, crazy-hair day married Mom or the Uncle or Grandparent who hasn’t been to a Doctor since CD stores closed inside shopping malls.

It is fascinating when you look at the parallel of two rising trends in private and subscription-based medicine.

  1. Number one, how many business courses and hours Physicians take in medical school and;
  2. Second, where does a Physician get their business advice? The answer is most often, advice from colleagues and other Physicians.

Lets unpack these two thoughts and trends for a moment.

“It’s time to find New Cheese.” Hem argues, “But what if there is no Cheese out there? Or even if there is, what if you don’t find it?” “I don’t know,” Haw said. He had asked himself those same questions too many times and felt the fears again that kept him where he was. He asked himself, “Where am I more likely to find Cheese—here or in the Maze?” ― Spencer Johnson, Who Moved My Cheese: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life

When we ask Physicians in a national poll (eg for the past few years now …), how many “Business Education” courses and hours did you take in medical school, more than 85% said less than five classes which equaled less than 20-hours!

So how does that translate to your medical practice?

When you evaluate the trend lines and compare that data point to why some private and subscription-based healthcare practice are plateauing at 150 patient subscribers, closing their doors, etc., it is primarily because of two reasons.

  1. First, lack of finances for marketing which leads into the inability to educate and inform the local consumer around the practice about the program(s) and;
  2. Second, lack of business acumen/bad advice from my Physician peers.

So if you and I put these two trains of thought together they’re informing Physicians about ‘what you’re doing wrong.’

Photo Credit/Source: (C) Concierge Medicine Today, LLC/The DocPreneur Leadership Podcast

I love this quote from the book Who Moved My Cheese? where best selling author, Spencer Johnson writes, “See what you’re doing wrong, laugh at it, change and do better.”

Amazing book by the way. If you haven’t read or listened to this book, it is a short read the you won’t regret the time it took to read it. It can really help you in your medical practice!

So the question becomes, What separates a great Medical Practice from the rest?

It turns out, it’s a series of soft skills and habits that may not be what you expect.

So, that means you should be mindful of where your insight is coming from, surround yourself with a small group of perspectives comprised of talented Physicians and wise business folks … and start reading more.

Reading? Seriously. That’s one of your great suggestions?

No, that’s a habit. And it great insight and ideas have been found by Physicians just like you in this space by diving into helpful books that help them go from good to great. And your next question is probably, show me the evidence that a Doctor who reads does better than a Doctor who doesn’t.

We’d be happy to do just that!

Consider this … countless interviews over the years with successful Concierge Medicine Physicians inform us that for one to succeed in Concierge Care, you must understand that your audience is overwhelmed. Reaching an overwhelmed audience isn’t great for doctors. Between insurance headaches, EOBs, prescription renewals, etc., the patient of today yearns for simplicity because they are overwhelmed by marketing and noise.

Recently, we wanted to know ‘What are the attractive character qualities of great physicians in the field of Concierge Medicine and its mass market, cash-only, low monthly fee variant, Direct Primary Care in the marketplace?’

Through our polling, additional supporting interviews with physicians and others, we invariably found echoes of the habits and books that led physicians to their ultimate destination.

Nothing can replace the intensity and knowledge that comes from learning about authentic experiences from which other physicians, DocPreneurs and business leaders in healthcare have had in the field of Concierge Medicine. These experiences inspire others to move forward with their dream of leaving the hamster wheel of medicine or perhaps a contentious group practice or even a hospital environment and pursue their dream of becoming one day, a DocPreneur.

“Leaders Are Readers”: Is Your Membership Medicine Practice [or Program] Full of Patients?

  • 63% said … “I Read/Listen to About 1-2 Books Per Month.”
  • 32% said … “I Read/Listen to About 2-6 Books Per Month.”
  • Less than 5% said … “I do not read/listen to any books for pleasure or business purposes.”
  • 11% said … “I have a full patient panel and a vibrant medical practice.”
  • 32% said … “I have a half-full patient panel and a growing medical practice.”
  • 53% said … “I have a less than half-full patient panel and a lack-luster medical practice.
  • Less than 4% said … “Other.”

Furthermore, since 2009 to present, our staff at Concierge Medicine Today and our sister publication, The DPC Journal, we have been asking, tracking and surveying Physicians about what forms of marketing they find work best to educate new Patients, nurture current Patients, grow their brand and stimulate the local community to respond more positively to their service(s) and increase referrals.

The results are as follows:

  • 7% use Facebook to grow their business and get new patients.
Why is it that we never see a Doctor’s office logo on the local swim sponsor t-shirt or elementary school cafeteria? What does a tree service, a grocery store and a pizza place know that Doctor’s don’t? Photo Credit/Source: (C) Concierge Medicine Today, LLC/The DocPreneur Leadership Podcast

2% use Twitter to grow their business and get new patients.5% use postcards to grow their business and get new patients.5% use a letter alone, to grow their business and get new patients.18% use a letter with a brochure about their business and get new patients.21% say hiring a marketing/PR company that used both online and offline marketing strategies helped grow their business and generate new patients.3% say hiring a business management consultant to organize internal processes grew their business and obtained a few new patients.9% participate in local area networking activities and events.16% say local area advertising combined with low-risk offers helped grow their business; and14% say word of mouth from existing patients helped to grow their business.

What we’ve also seen, observed and learned in the subscription-based healthcare delivery space is that way to many doctors don’t know where their marketing map is let alone how to navigate their marketing plan, promotional message or digital reputation. They have no compass that’s guiding them.

Where’s true north on your map when at the end of the year you’ve spent more money on administrative typing tasks to submit insurance claims than to get your name out in your local community to tell people about how great of a doctor you are? I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen annual expenditure sheets and tax statement with $2,000 of marketing expenses and $138,000 spent in administrative overhead. Worse yet, I’ve seen no money allotted in past years for any marketing.

Take a moment to reflect on your own actions as a Doctor.

Ask yourself:

  • How often do I do these things?
  • What results have I gotten when I have?
  • When things haven’t gone well, how could these approaches have helped?

We asked each physician market (i.e. Concierge Medical Doctors and the mass market, low fee/cash-only variant called Direct Primary Care (DPC)) how often do they read books for pleasure and for learning. We then asked the same physicians how that correlates with their present success of their current medical practice/business and patient panel. The results may surprise you.

Categories: DPC News

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s