I contacted some of our international GPs who have built a strong patient base, and this is what they have said. All of them referred to the fact that it had required time and effort – their patient base didn’t build itself.
Here are some experiences they were willing to share.
The most effective way to build up the patient base is to listen to the patients, to address their real need (sic). We may not be able to resolve all their problems, but we can provide them with good support – that is what we are here for. In brief, to establish a good doctor – patient relationship is the first step and most important step:)
Cindy from Sydney
Word of Mouth is key!!! – I know that I am recommended by people on certain local websites and Facebook groups (as are some of my colleagues). This is by far my biggest source of new patients, rather than walk-ins. People travel across the city for a good GP.
GP in Melbourne
Providing a good, thorough service and involve patients in your decision making. People like pro-active GPs who ask about other aspects of health and encourage them to return for their pap smear/asthma check/heart checks/contraception options (you don’t have to deal with it all on the one visit)
GP in Melbourne
Create yourself a Special Interest. I trained in Sexual Health and IUD and Implanon procedures. Others become the specialist in the practice at Skin Cancer. This not only attracts patients but also creates a good team in the practice where you refer to each other (and therefore keep the patient’s needs served locally). Get to know the local specialists and tertiary care providers. Patients like to have someone/services recommended by their GP, not just picked from an address book.
Victoria based in Melbourne