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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Referral Pads or a Plate Full of Feces?

The following story is true.
It is in no way exaggerated.

I had some referral pads made up recently. I personally like referral pads. I use them in my own office and a good one can influence where I send my patients for referrals, tests, and studies. For me, a good pad fits easily on a corner of my desk, has just the tests that I want in check box format, room for the patients name and my name, and how I want the results reported. Several of the labs and imaging centers that I use have referral pads that fit these criteria and I admit that I send more than a fair share of patients to these centers, rather than other ones, because of the pad. Of course, these centers do quality work as well.

Because of my own use for referral pads, I had some made for Richard A Schoor MD PC. The pads met all my criteria and were professionally designed and printed. They costs me ~$1000, total. My plan was, and still is, to distribute them to referring docs and potential referring docs via a practice rep, ie Janet.

Yesterday, I had some slow time and I learned of a new doctor that recently started practicing in an office next door to mine. She is an OB and joined a doctor that I have excellent relations with and view as a friend. So I stopped by myself to see them both. Now I no longer typically do this because one, I'm too busy,and two, I don't like being mistaken for a Pharma rep. But on this day, why the hell not!

I went to the reception desk, said hello I'm Dr Schoor, is the new doc here, or something to that effect. The staff was very friendly and replied that the new doc was not there but that she would be in the next day.

So I left my calling card and then asked the receptionist if she had any use for a referral pad, as I slowly extended my arm with pad in hand.

The receptionist immediately recoiled. In one motion she rolled her chair back 2-3 inches, put both hands behind her back, turned her face to the left, and said "no we don't use those."

It was like I had handed her a plate of feces. Incredible really.

I had to look back at the pad to make sure nothing was on them, like urine, blood, etc. Of course, the pad was pristine, all white and blue.

I wonder what I did wrong here. . .