Self-Branding For Physicians

In the Modern Era

[By Eugene Schmuckler PhD, MBA]

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In 1987 the magazine Fast Company published an article authored by Tom Peters entitled “The Brand Called You.” Although some individuals may shy away from the concept of self-branding in actuality, many of the online social network sites such as Facebook become media by which we in fact brand ourselves. In his article, Peter’s stated. “Regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding.

Me, Inc

We are CEOs of their own companies: Me Inc. to be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called you. As a medical practitioner how do you differentiate yourself from others in your specialty and why should a new patient choose your practice above those of the others in the field? Branding is about finding your big idea and building your identity and game plan around it. The bottom line: if you can’t explain who you are, and the value you bring to your practice in a short sentence or two, you have work to do.


According to Catherine Kaputa, a personal coach she suggests that there are the objective things: your credentials, the schools you went to, your years of experience, and your skill set, which represent what she refers to as hard power. Then there’s soft power: your image and reputation, your visibility in the community, your network of contacts, supporters and mentors. In today’s competitive marketplace, soft power plays a vital role in attracting people to you and your practice.

Stand Out

Peters suggests that everyone has a chance to stand out. Everyone has a chance to learn, improve, and build up their skills. Everyone has a chance to be a brand worthy of remark. Corporations spend millions of dollars creating and maintaining their distinct brand. The Olympic Rings are representative of a brand which the International Olympic Committee guards zealously.



Professional services firms such as McKinsey, foster self-branding among their employees. Major corporations have as employees those individuals who are smart, motivated and talented. Self-branding allows the employees to differentiate themselves from their peers.

For one to engage in self-branding is first necessary to ask the question, “What is it that my practice does that makes it different?” You can begin by identifying the qualities or characteristics that make you distinctive from your competitors-or your colleagues. What have you done lately-this week-to make yourself stand out? What would your colleagues say is your greatest and clearest strength? What would they say is your most noteworthy personal trait?


As a medical practitioner does your patient-customer get dependable, reliable service that meets his or her strategic needs?

In addition, ask yourself: “what do I do that adds remarkable, measurable, distinguished distinctive value.”



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2 Responses

  1. Doctors – Beware Twitter

    Thousands of Twitter users are falling for the fast-infecting “Unfollowed Me” virus and spreading it to their followers, reports Sophos blog Naked Security.

    Like the nefarious Facebook spam scam that promises to show users who has been stalking their Facebook profile, the rogue “Unfollowed Me” application claims it will reveal who has stopped following you on Twitter.

    Both appeal to the vanity of social media users in a largely successful attempt to lead us to survey sites.

    Ann Miller RN MHA


  2. How Doctors Are Trapped

    Every lawyer, every accountant, every architect, every engineer — indeed, every professional in every other field — is able to do something doctors cannot do. They can repackage and reprice their services. If demand changes or if they discover a way of meeting their clients’ needs more efficiently, they are free to offer a different bundle of services for a different price.

    Doctors, by contrast, are trapped; not withstanding their brands!



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