Physicians Are Saying (and you will be surprised) …

Physical Therapy Marketing to Doctors

Every so often, I like to survey doctors and find out what they are really thinking. It’s important to know how they think and what matters to them since that’s the first step in building loyalty.  This is true in every relationship actually.  I ask them several questions, but today I would like to share their response to this very important question, “What can a therapist do to get you to send patients?” physical therapy marketing to doctors In years past, the top answers were:

  • “Gain my respect. Teach me something I don’t know.”
  • “Are you on the main insurance plans?”
  • “Visit me about every 6-weeks or so.”
  • “Don’t have patients complaining to me.”

This year, has been very different. 

Some answers they gave were pretty typical and similar to past years but many of the answers this time were new and surprising (which is nice since I’m not surprised typically by physicians).

Here’s what they had to say, this year (in descending order):

3) “What do you treat? Do you specialize in [this or that]?

They are concerned more than ever before if you treat certain type of ailment or not. They want to know if you are good with treating lymphedema, scoliosis, vertigo, developmental delay, torticollis, hand injuries, post cva, balance problems, peripheral neuropathy, etc.  Do you offer programs such as osteoporosis classes, osteoarthritis classes, etc.

2) “Se habla Espanol?”

It appears they are getting more hispanic speaking patients than ever before. Even though this may be more geography related, it seems hispanic populations everywhere are seeking out medical services more than ever. But more than that, if there are ethnic communities in your area, start catering or opening up to them and you will get more referrals. Subsequently, doctors want to know if you offer translation. Are you able to handle them. Hispanic speaking patients are growing.

1) “If patients say good things about you, I’m more likely to send.”

We live in the age of likes, shares, and consumer reviews–Amazon, facebook, ebay, etc. Doctors are not immune to this. It seems the number one thing that will get doctors to refer to you this year is if patients are PRAISING you (or requesting you)!! So, my advice to you is…

  1. If you don’t have a brochure made for doctors that indicates the ailments you treat, and have ailments you treat on your website, you might be missing out.
  2. Hire a Spanish speaking receptionist or aide.
  3. Instruct patients to send a TYPC or write a letter to their physicians describing their experience with you. Make sure you have video testimonials from patients on your website since many doctor offices judge you by your website and perform online searches when trying to find an appropriate facility for their patients. Instruct your patients to review you on Yelp. There’s a lot more you can do but this is a good start!


If you are still doing heat/ice/US/EMS, you may be losing out on referrals. I know you won’t like hearing this, but I have to say it, all of these treatments are temporary. When shadowing doctors, I would often hear patients report “Therapy helps for a couple hours, but the pain comes right back.”  You cannot have these type of statements being made about your care to doctors. Do NOT be run of the mill. Do not be benign. Do not be unexciting.

Make physical therapy marketing to doctors a regular part of your marketing plan and you will grow into the future.

“It’s not the biggest, strongest, or most intelligent practices that survive and grow, but the one’s most adaptable to change.” -James Ko, PT


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James Ko

I believe... "It's not the strongest practices that survive and grow, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most adaptable to change." I'm a physical therapist, private practice owner, and founder of IndeFree Association. I like reading James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, enjoy golfing and playing guitar. I love playing with Mac and Cozy! For over 15 years, I've helped thousands of practices grow and succeed. This is my dedication.

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