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...

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