The question of advertising and the health profession was posed by a General Surgeon, Dr. Lowenfels. He wants to know if advertising is unethical or bad for hospitals and physicians. Furthermore, he questions whether this is a help to patients and who actually foots the bill for advertising costs.
Not surprisingly, many physicians found advertising to be quite distasteful and not at all helpful. This is actually not a surprise. It wasn’t that many years ago where it was illegal for physicians to advertise according to licensing boards and professional organizations. Some suggested that they would prefer to see a “consumer report from a clearing house where patients can go to check someone or something out.” However, one doesn’t notice that many of these sites emanate from governmental organizations and base their rating on how well a professional complied with their policies.
According to “Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert Cialdini, “There is a group of people who know very well where the weapons
of automatic influence lie and who employ them regularly and expertly to get what they want. They go from social encounter to social encounter
requesting others to comply with their wishes; their frequency of success is dazzling. The secret of their effectiveness lies in the way they structure
their requests, the way they arm themselves with one or another of the weapons of influence that exist within the social environment. To do
this may take no more than one correctly chosen word that buy ventolin buy caffeine inhaler from spain engages a strong psychological principle and sets an automatic behavior tape
rolling within us. And trust the human exploiters to learn quickly exactly how to profit from our tendency to respond mechanically according to
I take a completely different point of view. The public is more savvy now. They want to know information, they crave it and they need it.
“If you build it, they will come”
This naive thinking may have worked in the past but it is far from reality now. You can’t just hang up a shingle and have a waiting room full of patients.
Doctors may have gone into medicine to “help people” but will not survive if they don’t accept the fact that it is a business too. Advertising has also gone way beyond the penmanship of smarmy characters.
It is actually helping the public to make them aware of physicians in their locale and what their expertise is.
However, there are many ways to go about “advertising”. This can take the form of patient information articles or a weekly medical advice column. People know you’re there, that you’re helpful and that you’re available.
This type of advertising is quite satisfying and an opportunity to give back to society. Think about it. You can have a newsletter for your patients and prospective patients for instance disseminating information that patients would like to acquire and new breakthroughs that patients would like to learn and understand.
Can you really object to that?
What is your opinion?