Building your practice? Getting referrals from your community is a great place to start. How do you stand out in your community as a go-to provider, and approach doctors and community leaders outside of eyecare about the benefit of our profession? Dr. Jessica Tegen of Madras Vision Source weighs in on how she built her pediatric specialty practice.
1. Meet face to face. Instead of just sending a blanket note of introduction, Dr. Tegen recommends scheduling time to establish a personal relationship with MDs in your community. Cater lunch for staff and/or bring a gift basket or something that reflects the doctor’s personal tastes or interests. Focus on creating a mutual collaboration and ask how you can refer patients to them!
2. Get involved at schools. If you are specializing in pediatric care or vision therapy, or just want to grow pediatric and young parent-patient demographics, referrals from teachers are a must. Whether you offer school vision screenings, sponsor a fundraiser or cater food for a PTA meeting, or sponsor a local youth sports teams, there are plenty of ways to get involved.
3. Don’t forget about fellow optometry referrals. Dr. Tegen stays active in her state and local optometric society to meet fellow ODs and collaborate on referrals to get her patients the care they need. The key to successful optometric referrals is to approach it the right way. Within optometry, we are colleagues – not competitors.
We discuss local civic groups and public health organizations to drive referrals, keys to referral letter writing, and what patient care offerings bring in the most referrals in this week’s podcast!