Monday, June 04, 2007

Another reason to answer the phone: word of mouth

I answer my phones after hours. Other doctors say I'm nuts to do this and tell me that one should never give out personal cell phone, home numbers, etc, to patients because the patients will abuse it.
Wrong, wrong, wrong!
I have been doing exactly that for 15 months and not one patient has ever abused it. What has happened is that word of mouth regarding my availability to speak on the phone and my reach-ability has spread like wild fire and my practice has grown. Patients and their families consistently say things like, "I've never seen any other doctor be so reachable." And then they volunteer, "I'm going to refer you to my friends."
Music to my ears!
Maybe one day I'll get tired of it, but I doubt it because it really is no big deal, patients like it, and not only does it cost nothing, it makes me money. Placing less barriers between you and your patients, while counter intuitive, is actually better for everybody; patients, referring docs, and you.
The IU.
ps: the above picture was taken by me at Robert Moses State Park, about 15 miles from Smithtown.