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How to advertise a medical practice?

Oliwer Kotecky
5 min read

Above all, let's start with the most important issue, the law. According to it, there are professions in Poland, which contractors cannot advertise their services. These include bailiffs, lawyers and doctors. The status of doctors in this aspect is regulated by the Act of 15 April 2011 of the polish law on medical activity, which states that an entity that carries out a medical activity, which is made public, cannot include information about its activity in the form of advertising. Also, the Code of Medical Ethics of Rep (Art. 63) clearly states that "a doctor creates his professional opinion only on the basis of the results of his work, therefore any advertising is prohibited", and in the second point it adds that "a doctor should not consent to the use of his name and image for commercial purposes". These regulations vary depending on the country. In this article, however, we will focus on the Polish circumstances. We recommend that you familiarize with the laws of your country and act in accordance with them.

Above-mentioned restrictions are reason why, we do not see advertisements on TV, radio or billboards presenting doctors who boast of their specialized staff and ultra-modern work equipment. Nevertheless, let us not forget that the market of private medical services is extremely competitive and - in accordance with the law - you should let your future patients know about you. How to do that? There are ways that do not break the law, but can work on the principle of advertising.

The website

First, and most obvious - the website. In this case it is treated as a representative of the business. Doctors can include there the main information about their practice, data about their specialization and obtained academic title, the directions to the office and the time of admission of patients. Don't forget that many sick people first seek advice in the search engine. Of course, we cannot answer all their questions, but our presence on the first pages of the search will certainly help build the image of the specialist. All the more so because the generation of young people brought up on smartphones is very quick to form an opinion about the professionalism of the company by browsing its website. Those that look neglected, unmodern and non-intuitive can discourage users. Given the restrictions imposed on physicians by law and the Code of Medical Ethics, we should not communicate the quality of the medical equipment used, ensure the effectiveness of the treatment method and encourage visitors to take advantage of the offer. We must not use the language of benefits or persuasive elements. But we can present our staff - their achievements and interests in an entertaining, human way. For example, we can combine a name with an interesting photograph. The responsiveness of our website is also extremely important. The website has to be adapted for browsing on smartphones and tablets. Without this, it does not exist as a full-fledged website.

Quality content

The second way is closely related to the first one - let's not hide the fact that the competition for Google's TOP 3 is incredible and without positioning even the most interesting projects can be forgotten. Improving the visibility of a page in the search engine is not an advertisement. The law does not prohibit a private medical practice to have a "Blog" bookmark on the website, where they answer questions about health. Therefore, those who receive professional advice from a specialist in their field, not only can become patients in the future but also subconsciously build confidence in the doctor recommending the specific advice using their name. Qualitative, factual and readable entries will not only generate activity on our website but are also well seen by Google algorithms - thanks to such entries we can win twice. If the lack of time or opportunity does not allow us to deal with this on our own, it is worth considering hiring people who specialize in writing in consultation with a specialist, based on knowledge of the entries. Of course, it is about content marketing, i.e. filling our website with interesting, substantive entries. When trying to reach the sick, we can be sure that the readers will be extremely inquisitive, so it is worth investing money in this form of permitted advertising on the website of the medical practice.

Content marketing exists not only on the Internet. It can also take the form of sponsored articles for magazines, including those not necessarily related to medicine. You can try to reach female magazine readers so that they start associating our name with professional advice appearing in their favourite magazines. A slightly serious matter is to appear as an expert in the media. It doesn't have to be a national TV or radio channel straightaway. In the beginning, it is worth trying to become known in the regional social media. Admittedly, we cannot advertise our medical practice and its services there, but listeners or viewers will at least learn our name and specialization.

Of course, the violation of the ban on advertising is penalized. Disciplinary sanctions regulated by the medical authorities are foreseen for doctors who do not respect the law. In the Code of Offences, we will find information that a violation of the bans is punishable by arrest, restriction of freedom or a fine.

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