As a family doctor, you may be inclined to work within your tight network of in-house doctors and nurses. Periodically, you may refer patients out of the office for imaging, lab tests and more, but your primary professional contacts may be located in your own office. As common as this is, there are substantial reasons why you should branch out and work with a wide range of other doctors on a regular basis.
Providing and Receiving Referrals
Family doctors often refer patients to specialists for serious conditions or specialized care. For example, if you are unable to diagnose the cause of stomach pain, you may refer a patient to a gastroenterologist. Perhaps a patient who is new to the area will ask you for a recommendation for general dentistry or optometry. The last thing that you want is to send your patients to doctors who will provide them with bad service in various ways. By being able to refer your patients to skilled, reputable medical professionals, you are doing a service to them. This reflects directly on your own professional reputation. In addition, doctors who receive referrals from you may return the favor. This is a great way to grow your business over time while also providing your patients with quality care.
Offering Superior Care
Referrals are only one reason to network with other kinds of doctors. There may be times when you are treating a patient with a unique or complicated medical condition or who has multiple conditions. Consulting with other physicians who are also treating the patient may be essential in order to provide the patient with the highest level of care. After obtaining written permission from the patient to communicate with other healthcare providers, you may be able to share files, consult with each other to create a multi-pronged treatment plan and more.
Your primary goal as a family doctor may be to provide your patients with the highest level of care possible at all times, but you also need to grow your business and focus on profits. Rather than isolating yourself within your office, make a solid effort to branch out to actively work with other medical professionals in your area. When you make this effort, you may be able to grow your business substantially and improve the level of care that you provide at the same time. Look for networking opportunities in your area so that you can identify reputable medical professionals to begin working with.