The month of May is chock full of health observances that highlight the importance of building and maintaining relationships with physicians in other specialties. At the Institute of Podiatric Excellence and Development (IPED), part of our mission is connecting practitioners within the field of podiatry at various stages of their careers to share information and experience, so we know all about the benefits of networking. Keeping good connections with doctors in your community increases referrals.
All the Right Places
This month is Skin Cancer and Melanoma Awareness Month, National Arthritis Awareness Month and National Osteoporosis Month—just to name a few. Each of these conditions can affect the feet and lower extremities of your patients. When patients experience pain or discomfort with their feet, they go to the podiatrist. When the source of that discomfort is a systemic disease, you the practitioner, will most likely work in consultation with other physicians who specialize in that disease. Likewise, doctors who treat these and other systemic diseases, such as diabetes, peripheral arterial disease and nerve damage will at one time or another need to refer their patients to a podiatrist who can help treat the foot issues associated with the disease.
There are a number of ways that you can keep your name front and center when doctors are looking for a podiatrist to refer their patients to:
- Stay Informed—watch for new physicians coming into town or taking on new partners, as well as those doctors who are retiring. Make it a point to touch base and introduce yourself to new doctors in your area and leave a card or brochure that details the services your practice offers.
- Be exemplary—when a doctor does refer a patient to you, be diligent about sending progress notes and prompt in returning calls, passing on test results and treatment plans, etc. Be the kind of doctor you’d like to deal with if you had referred a patient.
- Keep in touch—don’t lose contact once your care for a referred patient is over. Lunch, coffee or the occasional phone call will build the relationship and keep your name in the forefront of their mind.
- Lead the way—set up networking events with the other doctors in your area. Speakers, holiday parties and educational meetings will help you stay connected and will be mutually beneficial to all practitioners.
Enhancing your practice is one our goals at IPED. To learn more about the benefits of membership, contact us by calling: 978-296-7634.