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Monday, March 06, 2017

Breathe more life into physician profiles

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Stephanie Keller, Senior Writer

As a healthcare marketer, chances are it's part of your job to help pair your providers with potential patients. You need people to sit up and say, "This is the doctor for me!"

How do you inspire that connection in your healthcare magazine or hospital publication?

One powerful way is to highlight your physicians' human sides when crafting their profiles. Expertise matters, but people also want caring providers they can relate to and trust.

Think beyond credentials—and tell stories that reveal your doctors' warmth and humanity.

Creating powerful profiles in your healthcare marketing

Here are six ways to make a physician's or any provider's profile sparkle with personality:

1. Ask inspiring questions. When interviewing providers, ask questions likely to prompt thoughtful answers—versus run-of-the-mill replies. The difference can be subtle. For instance, rather than asking "Why did you become a doctor?," you might try, "Tell me about the moment you first wanted to become a doctor."

Some other good conversation starters:

  • Is there something about yourself that might surprise people?
  • What have your patients taught you?
  • What do you most want people to know about the way you practice medicine?

"My perception of medicine, even at that young age, was that doctors do surgery. So when I opened up this little doctor’s kit, I was kind of bummed that there was just a stethoscope, a syringe and a little blood pressure cuff. No scalpel. I felt like, 'Oh, I can’t work with this. My instrument tray is incomplete!'"
—Vascular surgeon Phong Dargon, MD
Sierra Vascular and General Surgery Associates

2. Choose quotes thoughtfully. Focus on statements that show a love of patient care or a passion for a particular field. Check out how Sonora Regional Medical Center did that showcasing an OB/GYN's dedication to women's health.

3. Call on superfans. A truly thankful patient adds valuable credibility to your provider profiles. So step back from self-promotion, and let patients sing their doctors' praises. At Coffey, we call this a "circle of caring."

"Here was a doctor I had never met before telling me I had serious heart problems. But I felt his care and concern as soon as he came into my room. So I put my life in his hands."
—Patient of cardiologist David Addley, DO, FACC
Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital

4. Show the community connection. Doctors aren't just part of your hospital. They're part of your community. So highlight the roles they play where people live. Do they volunteer their time locally? What sorts of activities and groups are they involved with? Did they choose the area for a special reason?

In a community like Arnold, they won't just see their patients at annual checkups. They'll pass them on the street, say hello and truly get to know them. That's something special.

"It's a richness that you can't find every day in a regular doctor's office," says Dr. Concepcion.
—Feature about married physicians
Maryal Concepcion, MD, and Jeremiah Fillo, MD
Arnold Family Medical Center

5. Develop an eye for details. Colorful details enliven copy and help readers relate to doctors. For example: This young Dr. Dolittle got her start on her family farm. Or, This bilingual internist watches Chinese soap operas to keep up her language skills.

6. Maximize small spaces. Even if you only have a sentence or two to spotlight a doctor or other provider, try to strike a balance between practicality and personality. Here's an example of how Rush University Medical Center did that to highlight a geriatrician in its healthcare magazine:

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Custom storytelling: Count on Coffey

Our editorial team specializes in crafting custom healthcare content marketing with personality and passion. To learn how we can help you, call 888.805.9101 or email us.

Related reading

Interviewing doctors: How to get a great healthcare story
Your healthcare content: Tap into the power of empathy
Spot on! 4 key attributes of compelling healthcare content


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