Reputation Protection: When You Throw a Doctor Under the Bus, You Throw the Profession Under the Bus
A doctor's reputation will influence the individual success of the doctor, but also has an impact on the public's view of the specific field of medicine or dentistry. Sometimes, patients will visit your office for a second opinion and it may seem all too easy to criticize their previous treatment plan or diagnosis. It may seem like you are building trust with the patient by disapproving of their previous provider's decisions in front of them, but many times we have seen this backfire. Though you want your patient to have faith in your training and experience, 'badmouthing' other physicians may, in turn, make the patient doubt your field entirely.
Not only could you endanger the legitimacy of your profession, but you could also severely cripple the success of your practice that you will eventually want to sell. If you are a new doctor and talk negatively about someone who has 20 years of experience, their reputation will not be the one at risk. In turn, the patient may quickly discredit you. The longer the time of training, the harder it is to ruin the doctor's reputation. Likewise, the more branded the credential the harder it is to degrade. For example, the more recent credential DO took a long time to gain credibility like an MD. That being said, a DO shouldn't talk down about another DO, because patients may question the training and return to an MD. It is best if patients trust physicians and it is easy to undermine this relationship by speaking poorly of other doctors in front of the patient.
Sometimes "badmouthing" in front of your employees may seem safe, but it isn't. You have no idea who their circle of friends is and if they are married or in a relationship multiply that by two. There is a theory that we are only six degrees from knowing someone that knows the person we want to know. LinkedIn and other social networking platforms, virtually prove that you are three or four degrees from anyone. Trust is fickle, and your close friend today may not be your close friend tomorrow, don't say anything about another doctor in front of your employees because it will grow legs and run on its own. Multiply this with the fact that what you might have said, will invariably change as it spreads from person to person.
Risks of talking negatively about your peers include:
Loss of Trust
In an attempt to gain patient trust, badmouthing other doctors May actually cause the patient to lose trust in your abilities.
Patients may doubt the profession altogether.
It is a possibility that the doctor you are speaking negatively about takes legal action against you.
Lack of Physician Referrals
The physician you talk negatively about will not refer patients to you.
Other physicians in their network may not send any referrals to you.
Reduced Value of Practice
Eventually, you will need to sell your practice and at that time, you will need it to have a maximum value. So talking bad about the profession or another doctor limits your market.
Decline of Quality Employees
If the public opinion of the practice is not good, that reputation trickles down to the employees who work there.
Employees will not stay at an office that badmouths their competition.
Furthermore it limits your ability to attract the best employees, including associate doctors.
To participate in this week's poll, please subscribe to our mailing list ad follow us on Instagram. "Does your office have a written "bad-mouthing" policy?"
Prior Article Poll Results
This is the single most important question to take ask yourself when considering employee raises. Our poll asked "When Giving Raises, Do you Award All Employees With the Same Percentage Increase". Based on the responses we received, 80% said no and 20% said yes.
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