How To Obtain More Referrals From Pediatricians

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Author(s): 
Russell G. Volpe, DPM

   These reports also give you the opportunity to thank the doctor for the referral and invite feedback, which may start a dialogue that can lead to future referrals. I always try to send a copy of the report to other practitioners who may also be treating this child. For example, if a physical therapist sends me a child, I will write my consultation report to the referring therapist and I will also send a copy to their pediatrician. This allows me to inform the pediatrician about my care and also affords me the opportunity to introduce myself and my practice.

Underscoring The Benefits Of Positive Word Of Mouth

Finally, happy patients and happy parents will spread the word to others about the good work you have done. This includes them telling the pediatrician about your work, even if the referral to you did not come from that doctor. If another parent refers a child to you and the parents are pleased with how you were able to help that child, they can be a valuable and credible endorsement of you to the pediatrician. Do not hesitate to let a parent know that you appreciate his or her letting the pediatrician know of the service you provided and that you are available to other families in that practice.

   Some parents will even offer to take some of your business cards back to the pediatrician’s office to facilitate those referrals. Thank them for doing that on your behalf. Networking is a major resource to parents of young children and encouraging parents to network on your behalf can help you raise your profile with families in your community.

In Conclusion

In the end, pediatric specialty care is all about referrals. The vast majority of children I see are referrals. Increasing the number of referral sources by raising awareness and knowledge about what you do and what services you can provide is the ideal way to grow this aspect of your practice. Some of the most satisfying work I do is in helping children with foot problems get better. Every time I get another referral of a youngster is another opportunity I have to make a positive influence on the growth, development and the quality of life of a child. As the saying goes, “As the twig is bent, so the tree is inclined.”

   Dr. Volpe is a Professor in the Department of Orthopedics and Pediatrics at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine in New York City. He is in private practice in New York City and Farmingdale, N.Y.

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