The moment you take on the burden to construct and build an industry larger than you, you will worry about things you shouldn’t.
By Michael Tetreault, Editor in Chief
Last week I had a closed door conversation with a founder, a pioneer and a visioneering physician [who shall remain anonymous at this time]. We discussed a lot of things. Solutions to certain problems arising in DPC, commentary in the marketplace, telemedicine inside membership medicine programs, policy, business practices, new technology integration, and just caught up on life and family as two friends.
At the end of the conversation, however, we both recentered and reflected.
After all of the rhetoric, discourse and dialogue sets like the sun at the end of day … “If you don’t want your occupation to become a preoccupation that impacts your family, your patients and your practice, don’t give up what’s unique to you and your practice for something someone else wants to do.”
That thought came from someone older and much wiser than both of us put together. It did however, start us down a concluding topic of conversation.
We concluded that the best and most productive use of any physicians time is to serve his/her patients to the best of his/her ability. Staying unique and encouraging other physicians to create unique environments in their community as unique and different as they are. One of the best ways he mentioned that he is connecting these days to accomplish his personal mission is by using his phone to communicate and follow-up quickly with his patients.
Like most physicians, he has a special relationship with his phone. It’s always in his hand. The truth is, he mainly uses it for email and texting — with an occasional indulgence in Facebook during rare free moments between seeing patients.
No one knows you like your phone. So when everyone eventually ends up talking about their health at get-togethers with friends and family, be the superstar in their own backyard. Understand that the best selling feature of your Membership Medicine practice is a patients text thread from their doctor … that they will show friends and family.
Today, more and more patients also have a special relationship with their phone. Sure, they use their phone for continuous conversations that occasionally break for important person-to-person interactions, but it’s become an extension of their day and it has changed a lot of their daily routines and new behaviour patterns have been introduced.
“One of the most effective ways to get new patients is to text them back,” he said. Why? “I play a great offense with my patients. I follow-up by email and text more quickly than most of my peers do and I never miss a call.”
What does this accomplish?
He knows that his patients are bringing their doctor with them everywhere they go. They’re taking their conversations with their doctor to Waffle House, the grocery store, local family gatherings, birthday parties, campouts and more.
When you have the unique opportunity to share something that’s new and exciting in your life, people usually talk about their health. And knowing the best defense in that typically sour conversation is a great offense … why not open up your phone, tell your friends or in-laws or teachers about the best doctor-patient relationship you’ve ever had?
Are your patients able to do that on your behalf?