The Dating Game is a classic ABC show that first aired in 1965 and was revived and continued in syndication for decades until the turn of the 21st century. You know the game: a bachelorette questions three bachelors hidden from view, and at the end of the questioning period, she chooses one of them to go on a date with courtesy of the show. Sometimes the roles were reversed with a bachelor and three bachelorettes, and sometimes a celebrity would play to find a date for themselves or their mother.
Selecting the ideal romantic partner is no easy task—it can take many years and countless failed attempts—which can be discouraging enough to dismiss the idea of love altogether. Dating is hard! Now replace the word romantic partner with dentist and the word love with dentistry. Aaaaaah yes, the age-old doctor-patient relationship.
While you may not think of your relationship with your patients as intimately as you think of your relationship with your partner, in some ways, it’s even more intimate. In healthcare, particularly in dentistry, your patients must have complete trust in you to let you work in their mouth and to diagnose and treat any potential problems. Just like romantic relationships, your patients need to know you are there for them and have their best interest at heart. Just as in love, great doctor-patient relationships are strengthened over time.
So what makes you the most eligible bachelor in town? What do you have to offer that other doctors don’t? Why should potential patients choose you? Let’s play.
Jessie is a 35-year-old single mom from Atlanta. Jessie works full-time at a retail store to support herself and her daughter, and she enjoys red wine and long walks on the beach. Jessie values overall health and wellness, open communication, and any gesture that will help relieve her busy schedule and allow her to take better care of her daughter. Jessie has been wronged by other dentists in the past and is having a hard time being able to trust again.
“And heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere they are!”
Bachelor number one is originally from Las Vegas, but now lives and practices dentistry in South Atlanta. He enjoys drilling and filling, making a quick buck, and taking long, luxurious bubble baths.
Bachelor number two is originally from Hawaii, but is now happy to live and practice in sunny Atlanta. He loves to surprise his patients with outstanding fees and takes long, frequent vacations to the tropics.
Bachelor number three is originally from Texas but made the move to Atlanta to provide care for people in need. He places a strong emphasis on oral-systemic health and goes above and beyond to help his patients in any way he can.
Jessie – “How will you prevent more cavities from forming in my mouth in the future?”
Bachelor #1 – “Why prevent cavities when you can just fill them later on? Am I right?!”
Jessie – “How will you accommodate my busy schedule?”
Bachelor #2 – “Well, you’re going to have to call me back later because I’m on vacation and my office is only open on Mondays and Tuesdays.”
Jessie – “How will you help me accomplish my oral and overall health goals?”
Bachelor #3 – “I regularly attend continuing education workshops to stay current with the latest advancements in dentistry. I see the mouth as an integrated part of the whole body, and with the help of our advanced technology, we can make improvements to your oral health that will make positive impacts for your total health and wellness. I also offer convenient office hours and flexible financing options to help you get the care you deserve.”
Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner.
It may be a silly example, but we think it’s a great one for discussing the importance of the doctor-patient relationship. You won’t be the perfect fit for every potential patient—and that’s ok! Finding your soul-mate—romantic or dental—takes time, trial, and error. If it’s not a good fit, there is another doctor out there that will better suit that patient’s needs.
Maybe you’re great at attracting patients during the “dating” phase, but for some reason, they never stick around. Maybe you shine when it comes to the long-term commitment, but could use some help getting that first “yes.” Dentistry is a commitment you’ve made to your patients—are you holding up your end of the deal?
Whatever your strengths and weaknesses, at PDA | Marketing Group, we would love to help you navigate the complexities of the doctor-patient relationship. Contact us today to receive a Complimentary Marketing Assessment to get started.
“This is Jim Lange saying Bye-Bye, and we hope you always get the date you really want.” – Jim Lange, Dating Game Host 1965-1980