How you can build your practice even if you’re not a ‘famous’ doctor

It’s quite common to see patients waiting for hours on end to see senior doctors in India today. These very busy doctors have waiting rooms packed full of patients. Although most people do not like to wait, they do so in order to see a famous doctor who has been recommended to them.

 “Doctors who are helpful and are willing to answer questions will stand out and will be able to build trust and confidence in patients.”
-Aniruddha Malpani, MD, medical director of Malpani Infertility Clinic in Mumbai, India

Key Point: Many doctors who are expert clinicians seeking to establish new practices don’t have high patient volumes. Others, considered to be “famous” doctors, have so many patients that they may wait for hours for their appointments. The best way to build your practice is to establish yourself as a medical expert in your community, both through a Web site with patient questions that you answer and via community health talks on high-interest topics.

On the other hand, there are plenty of extremely well qualified experienced doctors who don’t have enough patients. Some of these doctors are starting or joining a new practice after training overseas for many years, so they are well-trained clinicians. They also might be experienced physicians who have relocated from another area of the country, or perhaps they left a practice to start their own venture.

However, many patients choose to wait for hours on end to see the famous doctors rather than considering these other technically competent doctors whose waiting rooms aren’t as busy.

Why does this occur? Mostly, it’s a question of patients managing their perceived risk. They are worried when they are sick, and they want to make sure that they get the best possible medical care. They often find a doctor by asking around, and since there are very few doctors who have the reputation of being the very best, these are the doctors whom many patients seek out.

Because there are so many patients who all want to see a relatively small number of top “name brand” doctors, patients need to[s2If !is_user_logged_in()]…

[/s2If][s2If is_user_logged_in()] wait for hours on end. The question then arises: What can other expert doctors—either those undergoing a transition or finishing a residency—do in order to create busy waiting rooms, too?

Establish yourself as an expert

If you are in this position, it’s important to show potential patients that you are an expert, too. This can be a challenging goal, because there’s so much at stake for these patients. A patient’s decision about his or her doctor can literally be a life or death choice.

One excellent way to market your practice and demonstrate your clinical expertise is to set up a Web site where you can inform and educate patients—in addition to their relatives and friends who could also become your patients. Of course just putting up a Web site is not enough.

You could encourage patients or potential patients to submit general health questions that you can answer to show your expertise and your caring. If you do this, be careful not to offer specific medical advice and include the standard legal disclosures. However, you can offer general medical advice that will be useful not only to the person asking the question, but to others who view your Web site.

Another way to establish yourself as an expert in the community is to offer free health talks to educate them about high-interest medical topics. The talks should not be a commercial for your practice but instead should focus on popular information such as managing type 2 diabetes, nutrition and wellness, childhood vaccinations, or other subjects related to your specialty area.

Offer a question and answer session at the end of each talk and encourage attendees to sign on to your Web site to ask questions too. You can offer informational literature about the services your practice offers at the talks, and when the community members who attend your talk need a doctor, it’s likely that they will think of you.

Stand out in the crowd

Doctors who are helpful and are willing to answer questions will stand out and will be able to build trust and confidence in patients. This actually makes a lot of sense for doctors who don’t have a full patient load and who are trying to build their practices. They are not as busy with patient appointments as established doctors are, so they have more time available to perform this type of outreach.

As you begin to build your practice, patients will be happy, too. They will be able to see an expert physician who can help them and manage their medical issues, and they also won’t be waiting hours on end for their appointments.

Aniruddha Malpani, MD Dr. Malpani is medical director of Malpani Infertility Clinic in Mumbai, India, medical director of the HELP-Health Education Library for People, and author of a physician and patient education blog. He is an angel investor in Plus 91, which offers customized Web sites for doctors.


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  1. Anonymous
    Posted Aug 2012 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

  2. DrKC Pant
    Posted Aug 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Article “How you can build your practice even if you’re not a ‘famous’ doctor” By Aniruddha Malpani, MD is read by me and will say he has done full justice with the topic.He has given practical tips and his analysis is also based on reality.I wish to give him heartfelt thanks and congratulate him.

  3. mdCurrent India staff
    Posted Aug 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Dear Readers:
    Thank you both for your valued feedback. We would appreciate it if you help spread the word to your physician colleagues about the valuable business and clinical content on mdCurrent-India ( We provide this content, which is customized for doctors in India, FREE of charge as a service to the medical profession and to enhance patient care and medical business operations across the country.

    With appreciation,
    -Tara Stultz
    Executive Editorial Director/Chief Content Officer
    Intervention Point, publishers of mdCurrent-India

  4. vidya natarajan
    Posted Aug 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    very useful practice tip would like to hear more

  5. dr.rajeshkant mangatram
    Posted Sep 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    very true,practical can offer freecamps at your practising site also to become famous.

    • mdCurrent India staff
      Posted Sep 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      Dear Doctors:

      Thanks very much for all of the great feedback.

      Dr. Mangatram, can you explain a bit more about the free camps that can be offered at a doctor’s clinic site? What do they involve and do you have any tips or advice about making them successful?

      Thanks again,
      Tara Stultz
      Chief Content Officer/Executive Editorial Director
      Intervention Point, publishers of mdCurrent-India

      • arunkumar ga
        Posted Jan 2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        U can conduct camps near your clinic site so that u can become famous and ur name spreads . U can catch some local political party to sponsor camps during elections they will sponsor that along with free medicines from their account so that both their party and ur name will become famous. There is a negative thing associated with this i.e., very less number of patients from these camps will actually end up visiting ur clinic. They come only to take the free medicines only.

        • Gopinath Bhaskar
          Posted May 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

          Nothing free works out so a nominal registration fee and a week long advertisement and prior registration works,if we conduct a camp with political parties only the party to whom we have advertised turn up we end up loosing majority thinking that we belong to that party.instead ask pharma companies to sponser

  6. sandeep Mane
    Posted Feb 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    thank u for valuable guiadance

  7. vijay khetan
    Posted Feb 2013 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    for doctors like me in new practise with all infrastructure and expertise ready waiting day long for footfalls in clinic.this is very depressing considering the no. of years of hard work and again at ground zero to prove yourself in the market with all your money one has put in infrastructure, at stake. leave aside the emi!
    i feel either u must have a godfather or do something very different not available locally say lasik laser or such technical surgical extravanza which ofcourse require money again.
    but one thing is sure believe in yourself and just stick on your chair.
    it is just 8 months in my practise at akola maharashtra with cut throat competition in ophthalmology.

  8. viswanathan sethuraman
    Posted Mar 2013 at 2:36 am | Permalink

    Very useful.Thanks for sharing

    Posted Mar 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Thank You, article is definitely very useful.

  10. ravichandran subramaniam
    Posted Apr 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink


  11. brijendra nigam
    Posted Apr 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink


  12. cherian mathew mathew
    Posted Apr 2013 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    good comment

  13. Dr.Mammed kutty
    Posted May 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Excellent- we will try to spread the site among Indian doctors

    Posted May 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Topics Really Good for new as well as old practitioners.

  15. Ganesh Dhakappa
    Posted May 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Definitely useful tips, but not uniformly suitable / applicable to all sections of society.
    Made interesting read.
    Best wishes,

  16. Saravanakumar Velunathan
    Posted Jun 2013 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Dr Malpani has done a honest recommendation on how to build private practice. Would like to receive more updates on this topic. Regards

    Posted Sep 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink


  18. dipika verma
    Posted Sep 2013 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    One has to be aggressive in marketing,everything mentioned should be tried,ultimately what works nobody really knows!

  19. Alka Patel
    Posted Apr 2014 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Very good suggestion
    Will seriously think about creating my website

  20. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
    Posted Apr 2014 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Creating a website and its maintenance is almost free or just under 500 bucks now a days. You should come up with quality content written by you or a person guided by you. Please do not plagiarize content it would be rated down by search engines and your effort may go waste. I choose to answer real patient queries on HealthcareMagic as a doctor and use their virtual clinic mobile application to answer from mobile. I earn through these answers. Every day I have 500+ views on my profile page and many direct paid questions. This is really good.

  21. Dr. Valluri Ramarao
    Posted Sep 2015 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    yes there are many ways to improve practice .Many doctors use publicity through media like radio TV and print media..
    Some become popular by patient education their attitude knowledge and should win the confidence of patient first by listening to his complaints with empathy, give them solutions cost effective .In- these days of escalating medical expenditure use appropriate tests .This is one way of winning the confidence patient patient makes better publicity than any media. Congrats for the author to make an understanding for enhancing the skills of medical fraternity.
    Dr Valluri Ramarao DNB, Msc(psychology)DCP.

  22. avashesh gupta
    Posted May 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Thank u sir for your post…it’s really good..but before this topic which is mentioned here topic which really important for new doctors like me…is locality/ area….where we should start our practice… whether it should b in slum or in well formed society…so please make a post on topic ” selection of area for doctors who want to start practice”

    Posted Jun 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    thank you respected sir for your post.

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