Marketing to MD's (and other physicians) is a topic many chiropractors are very interested in, however, few have any tangible expertise. Previously, we have looked at the 5 Secrets to MD Referrals and also how to execute a MD Meeting. But, how can you really maximize the effectiveness of your outreach?
Lets look at two scenarios:
- Chiropractor A speaks with a local medical doctor and spends an hour exuding the virtues of chiropractic, demonstrates chiropractic technique, gives a history of chiropractic, and delves into the intricacies of neuromuscular rehabilitation. He never learns the spine conditions which the physicians sees regularly in practice; he has no idea what the doctors current treatment protocols are; and he has not addressed any of the well documented hinderances to chiropractic care.
- Chiropractor B speaks with a local medical doctor. By asking questions she finds out that lately the MD is seeing a lot of lumbar disc herniations, and he is currently referring these patients to a physical therapy clinic with a 2 week waiting list. She then presents information regarding the efficacy of chiropractic care for lumbar disc herniations, explains she will evaluate patients from her referral partners within 24 hours, and proactively addresses the MD's concerns regarding referrals to a chiropractic office.
Which of these two scenarios do you think is more likely to result in a positive outcome (referrals)? Of course Chiropractor B is in a much better place!
Matching your "message to the market" is an age-old adage which is often underutilized in chiropractic/MD marketing. Make things easier for yourself, and for the referring MD, by learning about their practice (which also develops rapport) and then presenting information on how you may be able to better serve their patients in comparison to their current choices. Ultimately, we are building relationships to help our friends and neighbors in the community. Let's break this down into simple steps.
Step #1- Learn About Their Patient Base
Ask questions to learn about their patient base. Maybe golf season just started and the doctor has seen an increase in lumbar disc herniations. Perhaps football season just started and the pediatrician has seen an increase in cervical spine injuries. This information is worth its weight in gold!
Step #2- Learn About Their Current Treatment Protocols
In order to determine if you can serve their patients better than their current choice you must know what their current choice is. Ask the physician about their current treatment protocols. Ninety nine percent of the time MD's "treat" spine complaints with: medication, physician therapy, or referral to another MD. As chiropractors we are fortunate to have distinct advantages over all three of these options. However, you must know their preferred choice before you can explain the benefits which you clinic can provide.
Step #3- Proactively Address the Hinderances to Chiropractic Care
We know that over 85% of MD's have been asked about chiropractic care by their patients. We also know that only 11% have made a formal chiropractic referral. Some of the hesitance to make a referral stems from what we have identified as the "3 Big Hinderances to Chiropractic Referral". Quickly, the hinderances are the perception of long term treatment plans, a lack of communication, and the fear for patients who don't return. Doesn't is make sense to address these proactively with a simple statement such as, "We like to let our referral partners know that patients in our office receive an initial trial course of care (no long term treatment plans upfront), you will receive case notes on all patients (communication), and we agree with the research that shows patients receive the best outcomes when their PCP and Chiropractor work together (no patient vortex)."
These 3 simple steps can make a huge difference in your MD marketing. Chiropractic care is one of the most safe and effective healthcare professions in history. It's time to increase our utilization and help more people by building interdisciplinary referral relationships. If you are ready for a simple, elegant, cost effective MD marketing solution click here now.