James A. Garfield, 19th President of the United States
Today, the events that led to the death of President Garfield just wouldn’t happen. Medicine has come a long way in a short time; but this was the era of horse drawn carriages, bloodletting and, really, before science played a significant role in medicine. When Garfield died, doctors were poorly trained and there was a struggle between old and new schools of thought.
Listerism, the process of using antiseptic and keeping an environment sterile, was a hotly debated concept. Some doctors bought in, some did not. As a result of this debate (plus the constant juxtapose between the old and new schools of thought), the team of physicians responsible for caring for the wounded James A. Garfield put their dirty hands and utensils into the President’s body repeatedly in hopes of finding the misplaced bullet.
The end result was lots of germs, infection and ultimately, death.
What the heck does this have to do with marketing your medical practice?
Well, for one, it’s just really cool history. (And yes, ‘Listerism’ is how we eventually got ‘Listerine’)
But it’s also history that shows us why things work the way they do and why we make the decisions we make.
Call me a nerd, but I’m about half way through a two-year effort to read one book on every American president. It’s not for everybody, but I’m enjoying it. And, I’ve become really helpful during trivia night.
I was at #19 in my journey and my curiosity about medical history got the best of me, so I diverted from the presidents and decided to tackle Seeking the Cure, A History of Medicine in America.
Partly because of what I do for a living and partly out of a genuine curiosity, I found the history of medicine in America quite intriguing. From how doctors were originally trained to the early political power of the AMA, to how we got specialists and even curious events that led to the discovery of the heart catheter and the money that followed. It was all quite eye opening.
The evolution of medical marketing and social media
Medicine has a very unique history and so much of its evolution can show us how and why we market our medical practices the way we do.
Take social media for instance.
We work with a lot of medical practices. Some get social media and some do not. Some practices fall in between and do it just because everybody else is doing it. The general school of thought is that social media alone will not bring patients in the door.
Social Media will however:
- assist in elevating your brand,
- improve your ratings on search engines and
- build a relationship with your potential patients.
Social media also provides the tools for your patients to publicly criticize or praise you for the care they have been provided.