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Register Your Name As A Domain Online

Whether you’re a pharmacist or cardiothoracic surgeon, I think it’s worthwhile to register your name and credentials online as a domain name. I will talk about this concept in this post, highlighting why it might benefit you to build your online presence. I’ve touched on it in previous posts, now I want to delve into it in slightly more detail.

New age of resumes

If a health professional is looking for a traditional job then it’s generally not hard to land it with the typical resume, which includes your graduate work, research and work experience.

However, the more sought-after jobs that might involve leadership, research, innovation or jobs where you might be working for a more competitive group, aren’t given to those with 1-2 sheet resumes alone.

These jobs require you to have multiple interviews, they want you to highlight specific fields of experience and they want you to have gone outside the norm of your field of practice. The services and products you have created will speak louder than the written words on your resume.

These companies will first look for professionals who have already made a name for themselves. Such candidates have done speaking circuits, have attended conferences, have written articles or worked with the right people in the right fields.

So, if you’re a family doctor and want to just see patients 8-5p, with a panel of 2,000 patients, you’ll have no trouble finding such gigs, you’ll be competing with the same cohort of FM residents and NP/PA’s.

If you want to work in a more unique practice, where you are incorporating technology and a more integrative approach involving nutritionists and exercise coaches, carrying a smaller patient panel or perhaps doing consulting work for a large company, then you will need more than just a resume.

What you say versus what you do

Nontraditional jobs which are advertised are pounced on by doctors. It’s common for a position to be posted and have 50 doctors submit resumes for that position. Quite a few doctors are looking to replace part of their income through indirect patient care.

I’m experiencing this phenomenon as I’m applying for such jobs, stiff competition for rare positions. The company might be looking for a PR person who is an MD, they might be looking to hire a doctor who can manage VIP clients who fall ill in another country, or they might want a surgeon who can help them perfect a new medical device.

I can submit a resume, which I often do, attempting to get my expertise highlighted in as much as it relates to the position the company is looking to fill.

But that’s not the same as having my own website where I may have established a forum for international doctors to interact regarding patient care. On this site I might be posting patient vignettes and trying to demonstrate how doctors from other countries manage similar illnesses.

What you say, the written words on your resume, scratch the surface of your capabilities. What you do, the articles you have written online, the publications which you have contributed to, the name you have made for yourself on a particular forum, the field in which you have blogged about etc, that’s the tangible work that will get you to the interview stage.

Whenever you apply for jobs, which you know will be competitive, I recommend that you have 2 separate documents, your traditional resume and a cover sheet. Keep your resume in bullet format and very brief. Use your cover sheet to state why you are the right person for this position, pointing to the relevant skills which you possess and link to the work you have done outside of your medical practice, linking specifically to your own website.

Your website then becomes a more-in-depth-resume. Do a Google search with your name, you’ll be amazed how many projects you were involved in which you may have forgotten about. Take those snippets and add them to your website.

HAVING THE RIGHT PEOPLE FIND YOU

The right people often look for the right candidate independently, before ever advertising a position. More importantly, if you have made a name or presence for yourself online for a particular topic, then a colleague might come across a specific position and recognize what a good fit it is for you.

That’s why it’s important to market yourself. Get your interests known out there, let friends and colleagues know what your passions are. It’s a small world, if they come across the right people they will connect you.

With only a mediocre presence online, you can stop adding the fluff that you see written on LinkedIn profiles, instead you can link to your site where you have written exactly what’s relevant to the potential employer.

That said, it’s still helpful to have a LinkedIn presence. Make your basic profile viewable and don’t allow for anyone to message you. If they want to reach you they can fill out a “contact me” form directly on your website.

As doctors, we aren’t the best at self-promotion. The majority of us think of ourselves as ‘average’ or ‘good enough’. This makes it hard to stand out when it comes to competing for certain positions. By getting your name out there, humbly promoting your name, you allow the right company to find you, creating the right match of employer/employee.

REGISTER YOUR NAME ONLINE

The internet is expanding fast, patients are able to post independent reviews of you whether you agree with them or not. Soon, medical device companies, pharmaceutical companies and employers may be able to post reviews of you – it’s the natural progression of things.

It might seem like a bold move, but in fact, it might be preemptive to reserve your given name as a domain name, online.

I recommend taking your full name, John Doe, and adding whatever credential you have at the end, MD, and registering this as a domain name. It would look like www.JohnDoeMD.com. Since the capital letters aren’t recognized, it would simply be www.johndoemd.com.

You can do this through various hosting platforms, I happen to use BlueHost which is working out quite well for me and is one of the cheapest out there.

If you expect to have a ton of traffic and massive bandwidth then you definitely would want to go with much more professional website hosting companies, expect to pay a high premium for this.

For as little as $12 you can register your own name/website. For a few more bucks you can purchase hosting and add some privacy protection to your website. Buying the privacy is worth it because it prevents others from knowing your billing/home address, email or phone number. It also prevents cold-callers from harassing you.

Publish on your own website

There is definitely a place for online journals, especially more prestigious ones with top-notch editors. However, who says that you can’t post your own clinical experience on your website? You may have noticed that in a subset of your patients a certain intervention has proven incredibly useful. Perhaps something that’s not worth submitting to a journal but definitely worth publishing on your site.

It doesn’t have to always be about landing another job in the future, but I believe that if you demonstrate dedication to your field outside of your work-hours, you will find not only self-fulfillment but also better work opportunities.

You can create:

  • YouTube videos
  • podcasts
  • written content
  • drawings
  • Powerpoint slides
  • live chat streams

It all depends on what format suits you and your audience best. I encourage you to experiment with various media, you might find something that really sings to you.

Your site is also a great place to write about your individual practice style. If you have a passion for alternative medicine then you should expand on it. Mention how you like to approach an illness holistically, at first, and progress to more Western medicine if you see no progress.

Connect with patients

You may be interested in having a section of your site dedicated to patients. This could be filled with various specific advice that you may have for a patient, probably regarding a certain medical condition.

You might be reviewing certain medication, supplements or treatment modalities. The way you address the topic, your tone and how comprehensible your writing is, will hopefully set a positive tone for your patients.

I find this helpful for information which you feel you have to repeat a lot. If done well, you may never have to talk about how a new mom has to take care of the umbilical cord of their infant or how a sinus wash is performed.

Don’t be reluctant to give information out for free. The more information you provide to patients, the more likely they are to trust you and get to know you. Such individuals may become your patients in the future.

Keep your patients forever

Some specialists have patients who stay with them for the duration of their career, family medicine, rheumatologists, endocrine, nephrology etc. If you can maintain your online presence then you have the option of keeping your patients even if you change jobs or your patients change insurances.

You may work for a different medical group, you may move across the country and you may switch from outpatient to inpatient. But by having your own website, you can allow your patients to still keep you as their specialist or primary care doctor.

I recently talked about Health Tap as a way to have your own online medical practice. You can create a link on your website, called a widget, that your patients can use to get in touch with you which is both HIPAA compliant and takes care of any billing you may want.

What about privacy?

The notion of privacy is becoming quite fluid. It’s not that hard for patients to know where you work, to know your medical license number, your DEA and where you graduated from.

Patients can find out where you live because you likely own a home and paying property taxes. They can get your phone number from various online companies that sell such information and they probably won’t have too hard of a time finding your private email address after some e-snooping.

I don’t think it’s healthy to be overly worried about your privacy. As I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, you can buy some privacy protection which is <$15, allowing you to register your website without any of your private information (address, telephone number, etc) being published.

How to get started

Be loyal to yourself and your patients, not your employer.

  1. Get on bluehost and register your name as a domain
  2. Use the free Weebly website builder on BlueHost to create a simple cover page with your name, a quick summary about yourself.
  3. Add relevant pages directed at your audience, i.e.:
    1. Health Information for Patients
    2. Your Resume
    3. Your Current Projects
    4. Your Arts
    5. Philosophy
    6. Medical Malpractice
    7. Virtual Medicine
    8. Outpatient Anesthesia
    9. Career Advice For Residents
    10. Getting Into Medical School
    11. US Medicine For FMG
  4. Publish your website
  5. Update it as your skills advance
  6. Share your website with colleagues
  7. Publish regularly to push the website up in search engine rankings (SEO)

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