We love them. We hate them. We want our clients on them.
There isn’t a perfect source for finding a quality doctor. In fact, there isn’t a single source we know of that takes everything into consideration (clinical quality, bedside manner, front office, billing practices, office experience) to rank a doctor. If you want to find a quality doctor, talk to someone that works in the industry. They know the good docs and more importantly, they know the ones to avoid. Great, now that we all agree a source doesn’t exist for the best doctors, we can talk about the “Best Of,” “Top Docs,” and other lists.
Some of them are voted on by peers. Some are voted on by the public. And, some are even a combination of the two. Are these flawed? Sure. Humans are flawed and humans are voting, so it’s flawed. Now that we can agree that the methodologies aren’t perfect, let’s address the other awkward subject that always comes up around these lists.
Can you buy your way onto them? Maybe. If we owned a magazine and had doctor’s advertising in my magazine, would we want them to win? You better believe it. Would we just put them on the list? No. But, we would make sure that my advertisers had all the appropriate tools to set themselves up to win. Tools? Yes, tools….and the actual point of this article.
We’ll split the tools up into Peer Voting and Public Voting. For the hybrids, just do both.
This means doctors are voting for doctors. You typically need a medical license number to do this. Examples include D Magazine and Fort Worth Magazine. They key to winning these is to be 1. A very well known and well respected physician, 2. Organized about soliciting votes, or 3. Completely shameless in just simply asking your fellow physicians to vote for you. The first one is pretty self explanatory. We’ll expand on the other two.
If you are in a large practice, figure out as a group who you will be voting for and vote as a block. Do your homework to find out the minimum number of votes to be included or win, because you may be able to all win! Often, you’ll have to pick who to vote for though. It’s a tough call, but no one said winning is easy. Then, regardless of practice size, tactfully remind your peers in the community to vote. Don’t ask them to vote for you…just remind them to vote. Give them the link and the deadline. You’ll be top of mind, but haven’t actually asked. We recommend these reminders come from the actual physicians in the practice via email or text to personalize it.
If the shameless approach doesn’t make you cringe, then go for it! Ask every doctor you know in the community to vote for you. It’s not our preferred method, but we sure have seen it work.
When the public can vote, this is a great opportunity to engage with the public and the publication! Examples of these include Southlake Style and Living Well Magazine. Social media is your friend here. Plan an entire campaign around gently soliciting votes and reminding them to vote. Tag the publications in your posts. Many of the magazines like DFW Child and Living Magazine will even provide you materials to use. Use them! This is also the time to put your email campaigns to use. Send an email letting people know that voting has opened up and you would love their vote. While we aren’t huge fans of signage around the office, this is an exception. Use signs or tent cards around the office to let patients know that voting is open. They key is knowing when voting starts so you can promote it.
We keep a running list of the organizations, when voting starts, and when the winners are announced. Contact us and we’ll happily share! Good luck!