Why Physicians Need to Start Writing a Blog

July 14, 2011

While there are an ever-increasing amount of guidelines to follow, practicing individualized medicine is becoming that much more tedious and difficult. By having your own blog, you can immediately showcase yourself as an individual.

As physicians, we are often caught in the middle of marketing - not wanting to sound like a salesman but wanting to advertise our services. We get advice from industry consultants and the like telling us how to advertise our services with a good looking website, how to answer the phone with pre-scripted messages, and how to arrange our waiting rooms to showcase all of the services we offer. While these are all great methods to tell our patients and prospective patients about what we do, I think writing a blog is your best tool and here is why.

First, as a doctor you offer specific and individual perspectives on medicine and health. You are different from the physician down the street. By embracing your own individual perspective and slant on medicine and health, you will offer care that can be vastly different than the same specialist or primary-care doctor down the street or across town. By writing a blog, you will immediately have a forum to showcase your individuality. Your patients will appreciate that you are choosing to have a perspective and will like being able to read what you have to say whether that is daily, a few times a week, or even once a month. The easiest way to showcase your individuality is by writing a blog.

Next, writing a blog allows you to be more vulnerable to your patients. Sure, there are a gazillion people blogging, but none are blogging about you. Your own blog allows you the opportunity to be more than just the healthcare provider to your patients - by writing about you and what is important to you, your readers will learn about you. This is critical to patients being able to relate to you and trust your advice. Many times in the exam room, you do not get the time or do not feel comfortable showing your non-physician side, so writing a blog takes away this barrier.

Lastly, writing a blog helps you build rapport and rapport is the most critical step towards building a strong physician-patient relationship. We often hear the advice about making a good first impression, but first impressions do not have to start when you first walk into the exam room. By writing a blog, you can introduce yourself to your patients and prospective patients ahead of time so that they feel more comfortable with you. By starting this process outside of the exam room, the patient will already have some good impressions about you coming into the exam room. And that is such a great help when you are developing that relationship with each patient.

I personally have been writing a blog for several years and find it very satisfying. I can’t tell you how many patients have come in and have told me how much they appreciate me taking the time to explain this or that in the blog format. I know that my blog writing has helped me develop rapport with many of my patients.

Let’s face it, as medicine becomes more and more scientific with more and more evidence-based medicine to have to turn to, we need ways to humanize ourselves to our patients. Writing a blog, I think, is one of your best tools to bring the art back to medicine. While there are an ever-increasing amount of guidelines to follow, practicing individualized medicine is becoming that much more tedious and difficult. By having your own blog, you can immediately showcase yourself as an individual.

There are so many great reasons to start writing a blog. Please don’t underestimate the power of a blog and what it can do to help boost your own job satisfaction, let alone help ignite patient enjoyment in your practice.

For more about Craig Koniver and our other bloggers, click here.