Photo by National Cancer Institute / Unsplash

Patients Don’t Choose The Best Doctor

Ernesto Gutierrez, MD
2 min readJan 23, 2023

Doctors believe that, when given a choice, patients will choose the best doctor.

That’s why we spend so many years pursuing specialties, sub-specialties, sub-sub-specialties… We believe that, as long as we put in the time and effort into our clinical skills, patients will recognize it.

But here’s the thing: patients have no way of knowing that.

Patients choose the doctor they perceive as the best.

Think of another doctor. Maybe he doesn’t have as many years of experience as you do. Also, you trained at a more prestigious hospital.

But, as a patient is considering both your practices, they noticed that he was interviewed in the Dr. Oz show. Who do you think that patient perceives as the better doctor?

You may scoff at this statement but it doesn’t make it any less true.

Smart doctors actively build their perceived value.

Building your thought leadership must be amongst your vital functions. Here’s how you do that.

Tip #1: Get super clear on who you wish to influence.

Stop trying to appeal to everyone. Define who your ideal patient is and double down on them.

Tip #2: Choose ONE channel to focus your time on.

Let’s face it. You don’t have time to be everywhere. Instead, choose one platform and focus on that one.

Tip #3: Don’t be afraid of criticism.

This is the main reason why doctors don’t put themselves out there.

I used to fear criticism too. But my mentor at the time taught me that:

“If you’re not pissing someone off, you’re not playing big enough.”

– Darren Hardy

This does not mean that I actively seek to piss people off. But when it happens, I know I’m on the right path.

Patients can only choose the doctor they perceive as the best. It’s up to you to make sure that your training and expertise are not overlooked because you’re scared of standing out.

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Ernesto Gutierrez, MD

I help experts build businesses aligned with their true life goals • Physician - Retired at 37 • Full-Time Dad & Husband 🤟🏻