An Interesting Way to Avoid Medical Litigation

By Chandresh J. Shah

I’m sure you all have heard about the term word-of-mouth marketing.

Getting people to talk often, favorably, to the right people in the right way about you and your practice is far and away the most important thing you can do for your practice. This is the essence of word-of-mouth marketing.

As the topic interested me, I have been reading a book – Talk Triggers, by Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin.

There is a very interesting case study. He mentions Dr. Glenn Gorab, an oral surgeon in Clifton New Jersey. Dr. Gorab started doing something more than 15 years ago. He created a differentiator that other providers don’t seem to copy or follow despite its success as a word-of-mouth generator.

In the book, Dr. Gorab says, ‘I’ve actually mentioned this approach to several of my referring dentists, and none of them implemented it,”.

Dr. Gorab’s approach

Every weekend Dr. Gorab calls each patient that is coming to the office for the 1st time the following week. His typical greeting is as follows: “Hi, this is Dr. Gorab, I know we have an upcoming appointment for you next week, I just wanted to call to introduce myself and ask if you have any questions prior to your appointment.”

Dr. Gorab says patients aren’t really sure what to make of the calls because they are so unexpected. “Most people are shocked that a doctor would call them prior to their appointment; they are almost dumbfounded. It’s so out of the ordinary. They say: no one has ever done this to me before.”

These patients tell their friends about Dr. Gorab’s calls, and they deliver new patients through his front door on a consistent basis.

He says 80% of patients mentioned the calls once in the office for their appointments.

Quite literally, every physician-every professional service provider, could mimic it, yet they do not. Why?

An interesting side benefit. Medicine is incredibly litigious in the United States and has been for decades. 99% of high risk surgical specialists will face a patient lawsuit during their career. Oral surgeons are similarly at risk for legal proceedings, but Dr. Gorab has avoided them entirely across his 32 year career.

“I have never been sued for anything,” he says.” And I do surgeries; I do surgery every day. I have complications. Some of them have been at complications. But probably the reason why I haven’t been sued is because people understand that I care about them, and people don’t sue people they like. The fact that I care about people is the biggest determinant of that, and the fact that I call them ahead of time means that I’m taking an interest in them and I care about them. So right from the start, they see that I care about them.”

Are you ready to try this approach?

Author: Chandresh Shah

Chandresh Shah specializes in Healthcare IT and Medical Billing. He knows the market inside out; what works, what doesn’t. He advises and works with small business owners.