Writing a Book to Build Your Medical Practice - Part I


By Susan Kendrick
Write To Your Market, Inc.

While this post is primarily for physicians writing books, this information can apply to other areas of expertise as well. I was encouraged to write this two-part series by my client, Dr. Kenneth Cohn, a board-certified general surgeon/MBA. Dr. Cohn reaches out to physicians through his physician websites, the Health Care Collaboration Blog, "Improving Physician-Hospital Relations" and The Doctorpreneur, "A complete resource for physicians interested in pursuing non-clinical career opportunities."

What Writing a Book Can Do for You and Your Medical Practice
Physicians regularly write and publish books for a variety of professional and personal reasons. The following are some of the most common incentives: 

  • Stand out as an expert in your field
  • Showcase a unique approach that differentiates you and your services 
  • Expand your reputation in a specific area of expertise
  • Attract patients and others who are eager to work with you
  • Create additional streams of revenue, such as speaking and information products
  • Transition to a non-clinical career
  • Or, simply revive your passion for your practice and your life

* Write To Your Market, Inc. developed titles, subtitles, and back cover
marketing copy for the following five books by physicians.

What Kind of Book Should You Write?

Can you reap the benefits of being a published author only by writing about something related to your medical practice? Not at all. Professionals in many industries find that writing a book about a personal interest can also be a great way to connect with existing and prospective patients and partners. Telling people something about you as a person builds trust, which goes a long way toward creating and cementing relationships that build your practice.

Create a Lead-Generating Brand
Building a professional or personal brand is a great way to improve your medical practice, and writing a book has long been recognized as the best way to build a brand. According to Alan Weiss, international consultant and bestselling author of How to Establish a Unique Brand in the Consulting Profession, writing a book is, "the best branding technique of them all."

Ask Yourself These Four Questions to Get Started

- What energizes you—either in your practice or your personal life?
- What sets you apart from others in your field or specialty?
- What would you like to learn more about?
- What would you like to be known for 3 to 5 years from now?

Depending on what you want your book to do for you, you can choose to write about something related to your medical expertise, or you can focus on a more personal topic. Or, you can do both. Again, the reason that writing a book or a series of books is such a good outlet for physicians is that it does very positive things for your reputation, your practice, and your personal well-being.

Professional, Personal, or a Blend:

Writing a book gives you a way to reach into yourself and out to others in an extremely rewarding way. It begins to bridge what may have become a wide gap between who you are as a physician and who you are as a person. You can even write a book for other physicians about how to survive and thrive in your professional. Based on your own experience and interviews with colleagues, you can cover a number of areas, such as how to reduce stress, find time to get to the gym, spend time with family when you’re on call, or just relax and recharge.

Expand Your Medical Practice or Expertise
There are many books on the market that demonstrate the success of books written by doctors on some aspect of their medical expertise. We have worked with many doctors who use that expertise to delve into an alternative approach they have developed to a common health challenge.

Or, Take the Personal Route
On a completely personal level, you can write a book about your passion for gardening and describe the health benefits of eating food you grow yourself. Do you like to travel? You can write a book about how travel helps relieve stress and renews your body, mind, and spirit. Do you love to spend time with your kids? Outline some of your favorite suggestions for activities, road trips, or “vacations” in your home town when you don’t have a lot of time but still want to create family memories. Describe how doing things together builds relationships that benefit the emotional and physical health of your family. Depending on what you care about and what excites you, the possibilities are endless.

An important thing to keep in mind is that the topic should be one that will support your expertise and your interest for a long time, both in the creation of the book and in promoting it. For more on organizing and writing your book or help with your book idea, see our Manuscript Development page. Or, contact Susan Kendrick and Graham Van Dixhorn at Write To Your Market, Inc. - info@writetoyourmarket.com or 715-634-4120.


Next in This Series: Part II - "Organizing and Writing Your Book"