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How do I become a healthcare thought leader? 7 tips for doctors

Healthcare thought leaders are well known in their field for sharing their expertise with patients and peers.

Male doctor speaking to group of people

Most doctors go into medicine to help people, not to bask in the spotlight. But there’s no denying that being well known can help you attract more patients. Keep reading for a few tips on how to raise your professional profile.

7 ways to become a healthcare thought leader

1. Narrow your focus

No one is an expert in everything. It’s much better to hone your knowledge in one specific area of medicine than to try to be a jack of all trades (sometimes known as a master of none).

Decide what you specifically want to be known for and make it your mission to become an authority on the subject. For example, if you’re a dentist, you might choose to concentrate on cosmetic dentistry.

2. Create quality content

All healthcare thought leaders know content is king. If you want to get noticed, you need an active social media presence. For example, famed physician Dr. Mike Varshavski, a board-certified family physician in New York City, keeps his 3.1 million Instagram followers engaged by regularly sharing photos and videos showcasing both his professional and personal life on his account, @doctor.mike.

Frequently writing blog posts relevant to your expertise — i.e., topics important to your audience, current trends, new happenings at your office — is another way to engage and inform others. Post this content on social media, and your target market will share it with their own networks, thus expanding your reach.

Read: 5 steps to medical content marketing success

3. Engage with others in your focus online

Sharing content on social media is key, but don’t stop there. It’s also crucial to put significant effort into connecting with your target audience and your peers.

Part of being a healthcare thought leader is being seen as a resource. Capture the attention of current and prospective patients by responding to questions and comments left on your posts. For example, Dr. Connie Wang, a dermatologist in Katy, Texas, and her staff do a great job of this on her practice’s Instagram, @elitedermatology.

Follow other healthcare providers, and engage with them by sharing interesting content they post with your own audience. You can also get on their radar by leaving supportive comments, as it’s always nice to receive kind words from a cohort.

Check out: The healthcare provider’s guide to getting started with social media

4. Offer yourself up as an expert for media

Become a famous doctor by getting yourself in the news. Sites like HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and ProfNet connect doctors like you with journalists seeking expert medical opinions.

Major media outlets such as Reuters, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal use these platforms, so this is your chance to get in front of thousands or even millions of readers. Some might link to your practice website, but even if they don’t, readers whose interest you pique might perform an online search to learn more about you.

Read more: How to gain visibility through healthcare media placements

5. Submit yourself to teach or speak at medical conferences

Working the medical conference speaker circuit can allow you to reach hundreds or even thousands of your peers at each event. This is a golden opportunity to share your knowledge while also earning a reputation as a healthcare thought leader.

There are plenty of ways to find these opportunities, including joining a professional association and notifying the group of your desire to speak at conferences or simply conducting an online search.

6. Seek out collaborations

Joining forces with other relevant healthcare providers can help you gain a broader audience. Whether you host an event together or co-author a blog post, collaborating allows you to get on the radar of their patient base.

These collaborations also benefit your patients, as they’re able to learn about new topics and receive an introduction to providers offering complementary services. As a result, this makes you even more valuable to patients because you’re helping them find care that goes beyond your specialty.

7. Be credible

Medical issues hugely impact a person’s quality of life — and can literally be a matter of life and death. Therefore, you won’t find success as a healthcare thought leader if your audience doesn’t trust you.

Gain their confidence by researching topics before commenting on them, and don’t put your support behind people and products until you’re certain they align with your standards.

Serving as a healthcare thought leader is a great way to highlight your expertise. In most cases, becoming a famous doctor won’t happen overnight, so take your time gradually building a following that puts your practice on the map.

Want to learn how to use your reputation to grow your practice? Check out our blog post “How physicians can build their local celebrity to attract new patients.”

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