How to build your medical practice through referrals, blogs, and other powerful strategies

While some doctors in India, such as dermatologists, dentists, and ophthalmologists, have embraced marketing and advertising tactics as a means of practice promotion, others are hesitant to do the same.

Key Point: Some of the best ways to build your practice include: delivering exceptional patient care that generates referrals, maintaining strong relationships with other physicians, and developing and updating an informative Web site and blog that include first-hand success stories from patients.

“Marketing is still considered to be a bad word by most physicians in India,” said Aniruddha Malpani, MD, medical director at the Malpani Infertility Clinic in Mumbai. Malpani is a practice management expert who authors articles for mdCurrent-India, and he has a blog for patients and physicians at

Other doctors may be open to marketing their practices, especially when starting in a new area or after hiring additional staff, but they may not have the budgets for expensive campaigns. Either way, to maintain a thriving practice, doctors need to bring in new patients. The good news is that this can be accomplished without overt marketing. By providing exceptional patient care, maintaining strong relationships with other physicians, plus developing and updating an informative Web site and blog, you can maintain a healthy flow of new patients.

“When your patient receives a great service from you in a caring environment, then you have the ability to ask for a referral.”
-Subrahmanyam Karuturi, MD, general physician, Vijayawada, India

Develop strong relationships with your patients: It may be obvious, but it’s worth repeating: If your patients feel that you are genuinely invested in their health and well-being, they will reward you with referrals to their friends and family. Showing warmth towards patients “is what will set you apart and keep the patients in your practice,” said Subrahmanyam Karuturi, MD, a general physician in Vijayawada.

“Be honest to the patient...and let them know what you don’t know, what you expect, and what are your plans for the management of the patient’s disease,” Karuturi said. “When your patient receives a great service from you in a caring environment, then you have the ability to ask for a referral.”

“Prompt feedback regarding the treatment plan of the referred patients ensures steady referrals.”
-Sudhir Kumar, MD, DM, member of mdCurrent-India’s Editorial Advisory Board and senior consultant neurologist, Institute of Neurosciences, Apollo Health City, Hyderabad, India

Give prompt feedback to referring physicians: Establishing relationships with doctors who provide complementary–but not identical–services to you is a great way to get your name in front of patients who may not have been aware of your practice. But it’s about more than just establishing those relationships. Sudhir Kumar, MD, a neurologist in Hyderabad and a member of mdCurrent-India’s Editorial Advisory Board, stressed the importance of...

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  1. JAydeep Nanda
    Posted Feb 2013 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Health Status is an amorphous concept, there is no direct measure . It is best measured against a given quality of life !! Thus the challenge is to focus on the patients concept of ‘good health’. Towards this the info media is a good tool. But then the reader should be aware …. “Be careful when reading Health Books, you may die of a misprint !! ” Mark Twain.
    Dr Jaydeep Nanda

  2. chandra naik sugali
    Posted Jun 2013 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    may any one can find me how the dental clinics can be improved in cities

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