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  • Writer's pictureDr Desai

The three pillars of getting more referrals



Oddly enough, one of the most frequent contacts I have is from specialists looking for referrals. So I thought I would put together some advice on how to get more referrals. You may find it interesting to learn that nobody cares about your qualifications, where you went to school, which group you’ve joined or what you’re the head of.


  1. Be polite

I treat my patients like family. I’m not going to send them to you if you’re going to be rude to them (or to me). If you’re not sure how your behavior is perceived, try asking. For example, you could ask your staff “What percent of the time would you say I’m rude/intolerable/obnoxious?”


  1. Be personable

Don’t call (or have your staff call) asking for referrals the day after you blanked me at our kids soccer match. Don’t disparage my patient’s concerns. Don’t keep people waiting. Don’t rush appointments. Don’t send out proforma messages that originate from your C-suite.


  1. Be professional

All referrals should be returned with a record of your evaluation and recommendation. Don’t send a print-out of your office note, or worse, nothing at all. If you admit to the hospital, attempt to read discharge summaries that go out in your name. Attempt to identify presenting complaint, final diagnosis, tests performed and recommendations for follow-up. Keep an eye on faxes that go out in your name and ask yourself - if I were the referring doctor, would I refer to myself?


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