by Bill Champion
In most average-sized to large-sized markets, there is at least one publication that publishes either a “top docs” or a “#1 in the market” issue. These publications and their online versions are often operated and promoted differently by market, but at the end of the day, two questions remain. Is being identified as a “top doc” of any value to you or your practice? And secondly, is there value in purchasing the advertisement offer that follows shortly after receiving this acknowledgment?
Starting with the first question, as we discussed in a previous article on the value of being a team physician, the value of this “top” designation is that it provides a third-party view of your practice and can be considered a differentiator from other musculoskeletal providers in the market. There are few elements an orthopedist or orthopedic group has that differentiates them in a way that is truly meaningful to the market. Additionally, there is little information in the market that reliably helps patents determine the difference between one orthopedist and another. This is why nearly 50% of all orthopedic patients today are referred by previous patients, even though patients are the least clinically qualified to make the referral. Patients are looking for good, accessible, and trustworthy resources to help them choose a provider, so third-party references provide value.
Online rating sites and star ratings can have a similar impact. You can read more thoroughly about the ratings here.
The second question is: Should you advertise in the publication? There are numerous variables you should take into consideration but, more often than not, the answer is yes. Of course, if there is little if any distribution or you know the publication to have a poor reputation, you surely would minimize your engagement level. Otherwise, don’t go overboard with the layout or advertisement size.
What we would recommend is ensuring you have the opportunity to promote this honor, as well as, garner any publication graphics to share this acknowledgment elsewhere. What we would recommend is ensuring you have the opportunity as well as any publication graphics to share this acknowledgment elsewhere. The primary value to you is not the readers of the magazine, as they will be inundated with a multitude of “#1” individuals and organizations. The value is in your ability to leverage this message to your most valued audiences in an elegant and consistent way. Communicate the honor in a gracious and humble way, and make sure you acknowledge your staff. They have an enormous impact on patient experience, and you want to keep them engaged to help you attain next year’s award.
In summary, if you have been identified as a “top doc,” congratulations. You are doing something that is garnering the attention and praise of others for not only what you do but, more importantly, how you do it. Take a few dollars and buy the ad, but don’t miss out on the big opportunity to make sure the patients who leave your practice know for certain they came to the right doctor.
Disclosure: Champion reports he is president and CEO of Venel.