Last updated: October 30, 2021

Guide to Physician Liaison & Physician Outreach Programs

A physician liaison serves as a representative for a doctor, medical practice, or hospital. As a representative, they bridge the gap of communication between referring doctors and specialty physicians.

Doctor referrals are the lifeline to medical practice, and a physician liaison’s key role is to grow physician referrals and connect the medical practice with their local healthcare community.

While doctors focus on delivering high-quality patient care and treatments the liaison will visit with referring physicians on behalf of the referred doctor.

During these provider liaison visits, they meet with referring doctors to discuss patient care, referrals, new treatments, and thank them for existing referrals. They speak with the referring medical practice and doctor.

A physician liaison will inform the doctor of any news of the practice and provide referring doctors and their medical staff with a direct form of communication. A highly successful physician liaison will represent all aspects of the medical practice, they will be highly trained, as well as, educated with the practice treatments and specialty physicians.

What is a good physician liaison job description?

  • Increase patient referrals from referring doctors
  • Increase high revenue procedures & surgeries
  • Expands local physician network
  • Manage physician outreach program
  • Introduce provider to local referring physicians
  • Meets with local practices, hospital administrators, physicians, and clinical directors
  • Provides business cards and other patient referral collateral to referring physicians, hospitals, and practices
  • Helps organize and schedule necessary physician meetings
  • Customer service representative for medical practices
  • Director of Marketing
  • Increases overall practice revenue

Insightful Physician Liaison Interview Questions

Take some of the stress out of hiring a physician liaison by know what to ask during the interview process! Vetting the proper candidates is essential. If you are even lost on what characteristics make up a great prospect check out the 20 traits of a successful physician relations manager post for great insights!

Intro Questions

  1. Tell me what makes a good physician liaison, or why do you think you would be a good PL?
  2. Why do you want to work at this practice?
  3. What are you looking to achieve in this position?
  4. What are you looking to achieve in this role?

Experience Questions

  1. Tell me about your experience working with physicians or in the healthcare industry?
  2. How has your education & experience on your resume helped you gain the necessary skills to be a good physician liaison
  3. What was the most rewarding part of your last job?

Skillset Questions

  1. What traits do you feel are most important in a physician liaison?
  2. What do you think is most important to a referring physician when deciding what specialist to refer a patient?
  3. What do you think is the most overlooked skill that makes a physician liaison successful?

“What If” Questions

  1. How would you feel if a practice staff member was rude or mean to you during a visit?
  2. What if a doctor missed or is late to the scheduled meeting time what would you do?
  3. What if a Front desk staff member tells you the doctor is in clinic & cannot see you right now, what would you say?
  4. How would you handle the situation if a doctor or staff member complains or gives you negative feedback?

physician liaison interview questions

What They Need Questions

  1. What are the top factors that would influence you into staying in the job long term?
  2. What about this job appeals to you most and will help grow your career?

Growing a Physician Relations Manager Program

Healthcare marketing is always evolving, but one consistent marketing statistic is the power of local doctor referrals for a specialty physician and medical practice. A recent physician referral survey reported that 54% percent of the patient base for specialty physicians are from other referring doctors.

what is physician liaison job descriptionThis means that over half of the patients for a specialty medical practice are from referring physicians. A physician liaison’s primary objective is to develop the physician outreach marketing program or physician relations marketing program for the specialty physician.

A physicians relations marketing program will increase practice revenue and patient growth.

With referring doctors contributing in no small portion of your patient base, they are the most critical business relationship to the specialty medical practice.

To successfully grow doctor referrals for a specialty physician you must have a specific approach to the marketing, and that is appointing a physician liaison. A physician liaison works with referring doctors, medical practice staff, and hospitals to develop a strategic referral relationship.

Physician liaisons are trained to have a vast knowledge of the practice and services including the more profitable services. The physician liaison training process ensures that your physician liaison is fully educated on how to effectively communicate with referring physicians to convert patient referrals and increase high revenue procedures.

In order to have a successful and professional physician liaison marketing program, physician liaison training is a must.

They ensure that all medical referring sources have the information they need to expedite patient referrals and that the specialty physician is represented as the highest quality professional for the patient. An efficient physician liaison will provide considerable value to the practice by accumulating new doctor referrals and substantially increasing the medical practice revenue.

Physician Liason Strategies to Connect With the Local Community

It is essential for any doctor to stay associated with their local healthcare community. A physician liaison will be in charge of communicating with hospital professionals and local medical practices.

Staying involved in upcoming healthcare events and attending physician events is a great way to connect and obtain quality time with referring doctors. A physician liaison will build their healthcare network by connecting with other medical professionals including hospital liaisons and directors.

A vast healthcare network will help support the physician liaison as they market to new medical practices and connect with hospital professionals. Local hospitals are the hub of the neighborhood healthcare and center for most local medical professionals.

A physician liaison will expand the reach of the practice and help introduce the practice physicians to the fellow community effectively. Part of a Physician liaison strategy is how to get the best use of the physician’s time actively marketing to local doctors to produce results.

Having a physician liaison manage the introductions and allow time for a provider to meet with local physicians helps boost the patient referrals significantly.

Working with local hospitals will help the specialty physicians become recognized in the community for their excellence in high-quality patient care and treatments.

Physician Liaison Requirements & Responsibilities

Physician liaison is the manager of physician relations they will coordinate the schedules of referring doctors to specialty physicians.

A physician liaison requirement is to actively seek new relationships and strengthen existing physician referral relationships. This may involve appointment and meeting scheduling between providers.

Physicians are committed to serving their patients with the best medical care helping treat illness and improving quality of life, this means their primary objective when referring a patient is to find the greatest physician to provide superior medical care.

A physician liaison will help deliver this message to local referring physicians by arranging a time for them to meet with the specialty doctor to discuss their approach to medicine and patient care.

Arranging a meeting for doctors to meet to talk about certain medical cases and patients will help them build a stronger referral relationship. In these meetings between referring doctors and specialty physicians, they speak in depth about the best medical approach.

Nurturing face-to-face meetings with local referring physicians allows the specialty doctor to better communicate and relate to their healthcare network.

Physician Outreach Representative for Medical Practices

A physician liaison will also serve as “customer service” for referring physicians. During routine referral marketing visits, the physician liaison will meet not only with doctors but other staff members in the medical practice. Physician liaisons are not just there to discuss the treatments and services of the specialty physician but get feedback from referring medical practices.

This feedback is crucial to the performance of the program both for improving physician referral relationships and improving the patient care experience.

Relaying the feedback from referring doctors and clinicians is vital to the physician liaison position. Addressing the feedback quickly and efficiently will provide considerable value to the referring medical practice to ensure their needs get met and they are happy with the services the medical practice provided them.

Sometimes patient referrals are dropped or slowed down due to simple mistakes like a wrong fax number or referral pads. The physician liaison will not only address these small concerns of the referring doctors but also supply them with materials they need to refer to the specialty physician.

The Idea is to provide a professional and exceptional service of quality of care but also streamline the communication and referral process between physicians. This “service” of physician liaison marketing is the competitive edge needed to drive better patient referrals.

Physician Liaison Marketing Plan

Considering doctor referrals compose over half the patient base of a specialty physician’s practice the primary marketing focus will be referral marketing. As physician liaison, they will have the marketing analytics and insight for the medical practice as well as some field knowledge.

This knowledge will help doctors see ways to improve or specific high revenue procedures that have room for growth. Part of the physician liaison strategy is to have reporting, and extensive knowledge of the practice will benefit the specialty physician.

A physician liaison marketing evaluation gives the doctor a breakdown of the practice profits, loss, and what needs to be done. Physician liaisons can help physicians target the strong and weak points of the marketing and provide valuable insight to help with ROI.

The physician liaison can help identify if an outside healthcare marketing professional is needed to assist with onboarding big marketing projects and which marketing specialist is best.

A physician liaison is a highly trained representative of a physician’s practice responsible for growing local doctor referrals and physician relations. Physician liaisons help private practice physicians connect with referring doctors and expand their local healthcare network. In developing local healthcare connections, physician liaisons provide direct communication and make beneficial introductions for the doctors.

A physician liaison adds excellent value to the medical practice and the healthcare marketing program. A physician liaison’s sole dedication is helping expand the specialty physician’s healthcare network, increase patient referrals, and improve the overall revenue of the practice.

Physician Liaison Training Program

With the entire physician liaison requirements mentioned above, it’s essential that your medical practice or hospital system employs the ideal individual to ensure the success of the physician liaison marketing.

A physician liaison training program is essential to the performance of the physician liaison marketing.

Learn more about Physician Liaison University™

A fully trained physician liaison has completed the necessary steps, knows how to market to physicians to convert patients confidently, and is qualified to implement and execute the physician liaison marketing.

Physician liaison training is the critical factor to successful physician liaison marketing.

Physician liaison training will guarantee you have a professional physician relations liaison and affects the performance of the marketing program.

Could You Benefit From Physician Liaison Marketing?

If you are a hospital, medical practice, or a physician looking to expand your healthcare network, increase physician referrals, increase high revenue procedures, and grow practice revenue then a physician liaison program is a good fit for you!

Tips That Physician Relations Marketing is Right For You:
  • Looking to introduce a new or existing physician to the local physician community
  • You want to increase high revenue services or surgeries
  • Looking to drive patient referrals
  • Wanting to expand your physician referral network
  • Need an individual to provide practice and physician information to local referring doctors
  • Have multiple practice locations
  • Ready to Increase practice revenue


If you are looking to revamp or launch your own physician liaison referral marketing program or become a physician liaison check out our co-Founder’s personal website for webinars, downloads, blogs, podcasts, and the only online physician liaison training certification!

4 Ways to Boost Your Physician Referral Relationships

It’s time to first on the list when referring physicians are considering the specialists, they would like to send their patients for continuing care.

It’s important not only to develop a reputation for delivering top-quality patient care but also the best specialty to build new referral relationships with. Make it absolute no brainer when it comes to which practice is best for patient care and the easiest to work with.

1. What is Your Competitive Edge?

As a physician relations liaison, you should be aware of the benefits of referring to your practice for a referring physician that goes beyond just high-quality patient care.

This is because there are many skilled and talented specialists and you want to able to pinpoint some of the additional benefits of building referral relationships with your practice.

What does your practice or the physicians you represent an offer that goes beyond just excellent patient care?

This about uncovering the competitive edge that can help you stand out from the competition and can be your differentiator as a specialist.

It is simply not enough to just discuss what your practice is but it’s important to identify the key differentiators of your healthcare practice and how that is advantageous for your referring physicians.

physician liaison and doctor intrepy

2. Developing Physician Referral Call to Action Collateral

We all know that we don’t expect our referring physicians to memorize what everything we said or how to get a hold of our practice. Make it easy for your referring doctors to refer with simple CTA collateral.

When visiting with referring physicians and staff members what are you leaving behind so you don’t become a distant memory?

When leaving material on your practice are there a clear call to actions?

If you looking to develop some CTA collateral to help you increase new patient referrals with a professional clean look, click here.

3. A Responsive Physician Relations Liaison

Your position as a physician liaison requires you to be available and communicative. In order to provide superior “customer service” is to be attentive and responsive to the needs and requests of your referring doctors.

This means providing direct lines of communication so that any need, question, or action is addressed immediately avoiding referral hurdles and delivering real value as a physician liaison.

You will quickly realize that if you are responsive to the needs and wants of your referring medical practices you will develop lasting and strong physician referral relationships.

Develop on-going touch points with your local physician referral community to check in regularly. Make sure in your follow-up meetings your energizing your message and relating your messaging based on previous meetings and requests.

A way to quickly “kill” a physician liaison marketing program is ignoring the requests of your referring physicians & not developing consistent on-going touchpoints.

To help you learn how to develop strategic messaging that gives you the competitive edge check out, Physician Liaison Marketing, Gaining the Competitive Edge.

“As a physician liaison, if you are too busy to answer or respond to the requests of your referring physicians and staff members, then you’re not focusing on what matters most.”

4. Get Your Provider Involved in Building Physician Referrals

Active physician involvement and support can really accelerate your program.

A physician that is genuinely invested in the program and willing to participate in meeting with referring physicians will help boost referrals and validate their physician relations manager.

With the support of your physician, liaisons can have the confidence they need to be persistent in requiring face to face time with referring physicians and be witness to unique and candid conversations only 2 physicians can have.

These conversations will help mold the expectations and message for future marketing further educating your physician liaisons and delivering superior marketing.

Most importantly invest the time and put in the work for your physician liaison marketing program. A prepared and educated physician relations liaison will be able to produce physician referrals and expand your practice.

Online Physician Liaison Training

Need help with physician liaison training? Check out Physician Liaison University™ our end to end online training and certification program for physician liaisons.

Physician Liaison Job Description

Building a productive physician relations program requires multiple moving parts and one of the MOST important is the individual assigned to represent the practice when building referral physician relationships.

This individual is referred to as a few titles but most commonly: physician liaison, physician relations director, and physician outreach director.

Many medical practices and physicians understand the value in building a strong physician relations outreach program but implementing one can sometimes raise challenges.

One of those challenges is deciding on the individual best to spearhead the physician liaison marketing for the medical practice and what are their roles and responsibilities.

What is a physician liaison?

A physician Liaison is the designated medical practice and physician ambassador hired to generate strong referral relationships with local referring doctors.

A physician liaison may also be referred to as a physician relations director, physician relations manager, director of physician relations, physician relations outreach director, and physician relations outreach manager.

This individual serves as the practice representative to cultivate profitable physician referral relationships with general practitioners and specific referring specialties.

Physician liaisons often work for large medical systems, hospitals, private practice specialists, and other consulting groups.

Hiring a physician Liaison

When hiring a physician liaison, you need to be specific and detailed about the roles and responsibilities, required experience, needed skills, and education.

The physician liaison job description, when hiring, will provide a summary of the practice or healthcare system in which they would represent. It will also include the hours, daily responsibilities, designated goals, physician liaison training and onboarding process, and salary.

Make it clear when hiring a physician liaison that they will be required to complete the necessary training and work in a non-traditional work environment. This means they will spend majority of their time outside the practices cultivating referral relationships.

For more information about creating your application, interview questions and what do when hiring a physician liaison visit check out The Ultimate Guide To Choosing A Physician Liaison.


physician liaison marketing ebook

What does a physician liaison do?

Well the main objective of a physician liaison is to actively build local referring physician relationships that result in an increase of patient referrals, ultimately resulting in an increase of services and practice revenue.

physician liaison training webinar

But as far as listed responsibilities…

What does a physician liaison do?

  • Visit local referring physicians and medical practices with the goal to build lucrative referral relationships.
  • Works with medical practice and healthcare system physicians to create effective physician referral marketing plans.
  • Meet with local physicians, staff members, and referring practice medical staff members to build referral relationships
  • Reports weekly to managing executives about the progress and growth strategies of the marketing
  • Schedules physician relations meetings between providers and healthcare professionals
  • Distributes the medical practice marketing collateral and patient referral materials
  • Represents medical practice and physicians at local healthcare and networking events
  • Develops physician relations marketing reports including tracking visits and measuring the ROI
  • Educates referring medical practices of the capabilities of the practice, how they can streamline the referral process, and provide top quality care for their patients.

Depending on the size and need of the program there can be a single physician liaison, or a team of physician liaisons designated to certain territories to grow your medical practice.

The difference between physician liaison & medical sales

physician liaison marketing guide download (1)

What is the difference between a physician liaison and a pharmaceutical or medical sales representative?

A physician liaison DOES NOT SELL a product or device to physicians and medical practices, rather provides a “CUSTOMER SERVICE” type relationship.

Pharmaceutical and medical sales representatives visit physicians and medical practices with the goal of making a product sale that results in direct compensation to that representative. They do not represent physicians or medical practices but Medical device and pharmaceutical companies.

The biggest difference is that medical/pharm. Reps relationships with physicians are a “sales-based relationship”.

A Physician liaison’s relationship with physicians and medical practice is a “customer service” based relationship.

The training process is also vastly different.

Physician liaison marketing has proven to provide medical practices, hospitals and healthcare systems with that key competitive edge required to generate local physician referrals.

A physician liaison allows medical doctors the time to focus on patient care while effectively connecting with their local referral community.

Online Physician Liaison Training

Need help with physician liaison training? Check out Physician Liaison University™ our end to end online training and certification program for physician liaisons.

Last Updated: 2/19/19

Find These in a Physician Liaison & Prepare for More Patients

You’re ready to begin the exciting journey of building a physician liaison marketing or physician relations marketing program, but first, you need the ideal physician liaisons to lead the way!

Implementing an effective referral marketing campaign requires a successful physician liaison.

Hiring a physician liaison can be a tricky process and some hospitals and medical practices struggle to find the right talent

Let’s be honest, there are skills and education you can provide through a physician liaison training program, but there are traits and characteristics of an individual that just can’t be taught.

So, in this blog, I’m talking about the characteristics you need to look for when hiring a physician liaison.

Free physician liaison training Webinar Intrepy

1. College Educated Physician Liaison

What do I mean about this? I mean your physician liaison’s resume must include a completed level of higher education or certification.

Proper education is very important for a physician liaison because they will be required to constantly engage with healthcare and other business professionals, including medically trained physicians.

This is the first step in the hiring process for a physician liaison and a quick way to eliminate applicants that are not qualified for your medical marketing position at your practice.

A degree also represents that the physician liaison has successfully completed a high level of educational requirements and commitment to projects and deadlines.

As a healthcare marketing professional they will be using both written and verbal communication.

A liaison will be interacting with medical providers and physicians through emails, person-to-person meetings, lunches, and healthcare marketing events.

Your physician liaison is a representation of your practice and patient care, so it is critical to have someone with proper education and degree to be able to successfully represent your medical practice.

An individual that has committed and achieved a higher degree of education and training is an individual that represents the characteristic of accomplishment.

This means they understand the importance of furthering their education and strive to be the most qualified applicant. It also means they are ready to dive in and do the work and research it takes to excel.

Some examples of this are:

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Nursing Degree
  • Certified and completed a professional physician training program
  • Medical Assistant
  • Masters

2. Personable and Engaging Marketing Personality

Driving a successful physician outreach marketing program is having a practice ambassador that can easily begin a conversation with multiple personalities.

In the countless doctors’ offices, they visit they will encounter a full range of personalities: the happy, the sad, the good and the bad.

A successful liaison needs to develop a productive repertoire with other healthcare and marketing professionals. They will be challenged at times and need to feel confident in their message and approach to move the relationship forward.

Referring doctors should feel comfortable discussing patient care and referrals with your physician liaison.

The goal is to build a referral relationship and open communication with referring physicians, clinical managers, front office staff, and referral coordinators.

A physician liaison with a personable and engaging personality will help the “gatekeepers” welcome them in the practice and continue a dialogue on physician referrals.


physician liaison marketing ebook

Once the liaison is able to get past the front office staff and speaks with the doctor or referral coordinator they then can deliver your medical practice’s value proposition.

The goal is to discuss what makes your practice unique, what you can do for their patients and ultimately build a referral relationship.

If a liaison cannot properly engage with the medical staff and doctors they will be unable to create or maintain a referral relationship.

A physician liaison that is personable means that they are likable across the board. This means they aren’t just likable to physicians but different degrees of staff.

Having a physician liaison that is personable friendly and develops a pleasant experience for both employers and referring practices.

At the end of the day, if the individual isn’t likable to multiple personality types you will find that the marketing will be very inconsistent.

Tip: When hiring a physician liaison, evaluate how they interact with your staff, management, and other team members. Are they a good fit and can they adapt to multiple personalities?

3. Medical Industry Experience

Understanding both the healthcare and the marketing industry is a foundation needed for a proper physician liaison.

An experienced physician liaison requires less training and brings a high level of professionalism to interact with other healthcare professionals.

physician liaison training webinarThe physician liaison doesn’t necessarily need to have liaison experience but needs to have a solid comprehension of the medical arena and business professionalism.

The healthcare industry has its own nuances, pain points, referral patterns, and influencers. A person with a strong understanding of these will go a long way in the success of growing your practice and patient base.

This is important because there can be physician liaison candidates that are engaging and organized, but if their experience and successes are more entertainment related you may want to dive deeper.

What I mean is they need to have a level of interest so there is some excitement about why it’s important. It easy to get excited about flashy events and meeting celebrities, but do they understand the excitement of healthcare and what are their goals? You don’t want to hire individuals who are just focused on being outgoing. You need someone that has a level of interest in the actual medical world so they enjoy what they do and not burn out. 

You want an individual who believes and enjoys in the “cause” to be the one who represents you in the field as a physician liaison.

4. Motivated and Driven to Increase Doctor Referrals

Encourage an environment that is goal-oriented.

This may be reflected in their resume not only in accomplishments but how they structure their past experiences information with KPIs ( Key Performance Indicators).

Examples of this may be:

Marketing Director at Innovative Orthopedics of Colorado

  • Increased sales by 25% over a 9 month period
  • Managed 4 social media profiles and increased social engagement by 15% increased followers from 100-2,250 drove to traffic to website by 11% averaged 10 new patient leads a month.
  • Increased patient referrals by 65% resulting in a $500k increase in revenue

As opposed to:

Marketing Director at Innovative Orthopedics of Colorado

  • Built referral relationships with local physicians
  • Scheduled meetings and marketing lunches with local referring practices
  • Managed multiple social media platforms and monitored growth and engagement

Goal-oriented physician liaisons help doctors reach marketing targets and continue to develop new marketing approaches.

It is critical to have a solid analytics and tracking system in place to allow the staff member to run reports and stay up-to-date on the over ROI and health of the program. This also keeps them motivated and accountable.

Physician liaisons with a driven personality will find value in constantly challenging themselves and producing results.

Encourage these traits by getting involved and cooperating with the physician relations marketing strategy your physician liaison has built.

At the same time do not squash drive with overly unrealistic expectations of referral growth.

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

5. Flexible

physician liaison marketing guide download (1)

The world of medical marketing is not a normal 9 to 5 job.

Doctors have demanding schedules and their first priority lies with the care of their patients.

Patient emergencies are not always on the agenda and physicians are required to devote their time to treat whatever may come up.

A physician liaison needs to be available and flexible with after work or early business hours.

If the only free time a referring doctor has is 5:30 am in the morning before work or surgery to talk about referrals they will need to make themselves available.

If a physician liaison is unwilling to put in the extra time they will give the impression to the referring doctor their time is more valuable than their own.

Doctors are not always available to block their schedules to attend events or meetings, and often after a long day at the practice just want to go home to their families.

A successful liaison will make them available and adapt to their schedule by meeting at their practice at a requested time.

Tip: During the physician liaison hiring process schedule a call outside normal business hours may be 6:30 am, after 6 pm, or a Saturday.

6. Quick Learning Physician Liaison

Physician liaisons’ are not expected to be clinicians or have the degree of medical professionals, but they are expected to have an extensive comprehension of the medical subject matter they are discussing for their given practice specialty.

Doctor’s like to discuss less about scheduling and follow up and more about specific medical matters and conditions in relation to their patient referrals.

An individual with the knowledge of symptoms, treatments, and medical vocabulary needed to discuss the link between referrals will be most effective in the long run.

The physician liaison is a representative of the doctor and practice to serve as a resource for referring doctors; the more information they can provide the more success they will have.

Tip: During the physician liaison interview did the candidate mention they “looked up” or “read on your website” that’s a good sign they did some quick research before the interview.

Read this for quick tips on building your referral marketing networks.

7. Creative Referral Marketing Ideas

Maintaining doctor referrals is the biggest differentiator between a successful physician relations marketing campaign and a stagnant one.

To avoid stagnant or decreasing patient referrals the physician liaison will need to get creative and develop new outlets and new conversations to stay memorable.

Innovative marketing efforts can help your practice reach new ways to grow referrals and make lasting impressions to help continue the conversation.

A creative personality brings energy to your marketing efforts and a positive teamwork environment.

There is always a natural seasonality to referral patterns based on insurance of school schedules so knowing that plan some unique initiatives to coincide with these times.

Physician liaisons will have to rely on their creativity to produce effective follow-up and enhance referral relationships.

Physician liaisons need to apply new techniques, ass new tactics, and jazz up their approach to maintain long-term relationships.

Tip: During the physician liaison hiring process did the candidate ask questions based on your description of challenges and responsibilities with new ideas? Buzzwords to pay attention to would be “have you tried” or “has anyone ever” which usually means they are about to add or ask about different approaches.

8. Analytical Marketing Approach

physician liaison analytics intrepy

Identifying benchmarks and creating goals through practice reports adds a huge value to your referral marketing.

An effective physician liaison will measure referral marketing through the practice numbers and reports and not by time spent.

Analytics and reports provide both the practice and marketer with full knowledge of the current status of patient referrals and treatments.

Understanding your practice numbers will help doctors not only identify marketing trends and targets but evaluate the ROI of their physician liaison program.

They need to not only have a charismatic personality but in order to surpass the competitors, they need to apply marketing strategy by using analytics.

A profitable physician liaison marketing program can be measured in multiple ways and in order to reach revenue goals you need to apply the many verticals it takes to reach them.

Tip: During the physician liaison interview let them know they will have the responsibility to pull marketing reports and measure growth.

9. Established Medical Network

The stronger the existing relationship a physician liaison has with local doctors and healthcare providers the more value they bring to growing your patient referrals and overall revenue for the practice.

Attending networking events is a great way to get in front of healthcare providers and have their undivided attention for a spell.

By extending their network to other healthcare professionals liaisons can find similar synergies and collaborate with other medical professionals to bring new revenue to the practice.

Tip: During the physicain liaison hiring process mention that you will require your physician liaisons to represent the practice or healthcare system in local healthcare community events, business associations, and medical networking groups.

10. Professionalism

As an extension of the practice your marketing representative should project professionalism.

Individuals need to be prompt, respectful when speaking with healthcare staff and providers, experienced in proper business etiquette, and productive in their role.

A physician liaison with experience and professionalism will illustrate the high standards that your practice and providers have when taking care of patients.

They need to radiate professionalism from presentation down to content.

Tip: Provide a physician liaison training program for new physician liaison. This will ensure all your physician liaison training is superior and consistent. It will always guarantee your physician liaisons have completed the highest level of training by a professional.

11. Organized

As with any marketing program, healthcare marketing involves multiple campaigns and contacts.

To avoid sloppy marketing, healthcare marketers need to be organized to make sure they see efforts through to completion.

Physician liaisons visit multiple doctor practices and meet with numerous medical providers. To ensure they follow up they will need to apply an effective way to organize all the information, which also makes reporting and delegating easier.

An organized physician liaison will be an individual prepared for every marketing venture and have quick resources they can rely on to better increase their chances of success.

Tip: During the physician liaison hiring process check to see if they have experience and skills with multiple platforms and software.

12. Team Player

Physician liaison marketing involves collaboration with the entire practice staff and providers. Oftentimes, the physician liaison is out meeting with doctors and not in the medical practice.

Therefore, they need to collaborate with the front office staff and develop a protocol for incoming messages related to marketing.

It is important they meet with the staff and get familiar with the entire practice because referrals may involve various aspects of the practice and multiple staff members.

Without the ability to collaborate with other employees, efforts may fall short due to the inability to see the campaign to completion.

If your medical marketing employees do not show characteristics of being a team player they are probably not a good fit for your practice.

Tip: During the physician liaison hiring process look for this by evaluating their resume. For experienced candidates ask, does their resume include project manager experience? For entry-level candidates did you see if they were involved in organizations, sports, charities, etc.?

13. Direct & Confident

Time is money! A physician liaison needs to be direct to their purpose and quickly.

Physicians do not have the luxury of time so there is a brief window where the physician liaison must provide value and prove they are in an efficient representative to see patient referral objectives through and qualifier of their time.

It is not enough for a physician liaison just to meet with referring doctors it is critical that they communicate a direct and straight to the point message.

Doctors do not want to take the time from seeing patients during clinic to hear a generic message that doesn’t have any direct value to their patient care.

Tip: During the physician liaison hiring process did the candidate ask you direct and specific questions about the day-to-day responsibilities and objectives?

14. Reliability

This is Huge! You will rely on physician liaison to serve as a representative of the physicians but with greater availability.

This quality goes back to professionalism and reiterates the importance of picking a physician relations manager with education and experience.

Physician liaison marketing will involve outside office meetings, new relationships, and unique follow-ups.

As a physician, you need to feel confident knowing your physician liaison is where they need to be when they need to be there.

They will need to be equipped to properly relay your medical practice’s message and quality care.

Tip: During the physician liaison hiring process did they take the initiative to reach you? Were they prompt, as well as, remind you of either a previous conversation you had about their experiences or questions you may have had? If so that’s a good sign!

15. Leader

Physician liaisons are the front line of a medical practice’s referral program.

As messengers for the practice, they will need to take the information and delegate tasks to the appropriate medical departments in the practice.

A highly successful physician liaison understands the importance of not overwhelming themselves with tasks, not in their department and delegating responsibility to the correct staff member.

This trait reflects the leadership capabilities of your employee and how they can navigate your referral marketing campaign successfully.

Tip: During the hiring process make notes of your candidate’s abilities to delegate. If experienced did they manage teams, multiple projects or employees? If the candidate is entry-level did they participate in extra circular activities, volunteer, or create social media profiles and solutions?

16. Strong Communication Skills with Physician and Medical Practice

A productive physician liaison is the messenger and direct link between referring doctors and the practice.

Strong communication between the employing physician and referring doctor only increases the success of the referral initiatives.

They need to have direct communication with providers to ask questions and relay messages from referring physicians.

Require blocked time to speak with your physician liaison, so that you as the physician can build that line of communication and successfully equip your liaison with all the knowledge they need to succeed.

If a referring doctor does not feel that your physician liaison has the access they need to speak with a top doctor decision maker they are highly unlikely to engage in conversation with the liaison.

Tip: During the interview process of hiring a physician liaison you can evaluate this trait pretty quickly. Are they engaging? Are they listening more than they are talking? Are they asking questions and not just agreeing? If so they may be a good fit!

physician liaison and doctor intrepy

17. Responsive to the Needs of Referring Medical Practices

Responsiveness is key to providing the ultimate level of customer service in any referral relationship.

Not all doctors will have the same needs and concerns. In order to be a successful physician liaison, they will need to quickly respond to any requests or negative feedback that a doctor may provide.

Recognizing the needs of a referring physician in a timely manner will create the trust that their patients are treated with the highest quality care.

No practice is perfect and mistakes will happen or the ball will be dropped at some point.

Respond quickly and effectively to the situation with all necessary follow up. A responsive physician liaison will always be aware of the status of referring doctors and revisit referred cases to thank them and follow up.

Follow up visits can solidify the relationship and increase more referrals.

Tip: A way to evaluate this when hiring a physician liaison is their response to the job post and their follow-up. Are they initiating meetings, are they sending follow up emails or calls after the interview? Are they thanking you for time, requesting more information? All of these examples or a good indicator of a responsive candidate.

18. Energetic

Physician liaison marketing can become repetitive after time so an energetic personality is a fantastic trait for an employee.

Bringing in new energy and approaching meetings with a positive attitude will help drive your physician liaison to have quality interactions.

Physician Liaisons are constantly meeting new people and attending events so they will need to have the energy to be personable and effective when talking about the practice.

Tip: During the physician liaison hiring process did they make you smile or laugh? Did they add new energy to the interview? Was the possible physician liaison memorable? If so think about how their energy how will be in the field marketing to doctors, is it the energy you might just need?

19. Multi-Tasking

Multi-tasking is a challenge for many healthcare professionals.

A successful physician liaison can handle multiple projects and tasks. Part of their day-to-day duties will require office work and other marketing campaigns in conjunction with doctor office visits.

Multi-tasking is a trait that will help your employee perform at the highest level of efficiency without feeling overwhelmed and losing focus.

20. Genuine

The most important trait a physician liaison can possess is being genuine with the doctors that they meet.

A genuine person will have all of the previous traits combined and the most effective relationships with referring doctors and medical practices.

A genuine physician liaison will listen, remember, and act on all the referral practice’s needs and concerns.

They will develop memorable conversations and sustain the referral marketing relationship. When a liaison is genuine in their approach they have taken the needs of the practice seriously and deliver substantial results.

Remember to get involved and support all employees and the marketing efforts of your medical practice. The most effective healthcare marketing campaign is the one where the providers get involved when comes to patient care and the practice message.

Tip: When hiring a physician liaison, go with your gut on this one!

Bonus Traits!:

#1 Confident

The confidence to persist after the dreaded “no” is key to success!

A confident physician liaison will face the challenges associated when speaking with multiple personalities and will answer targeted questions.

They are there to bridge the gap between providers and physician referrals so their time speaking with the medical providers needs to be direct and filled with quality information.

Tip: During the physician liaison hiring process did the candidate seem soft-spoken or shy? As the interviewers, were you the only one initiating conversation, is so then they are probably not the right fit.

#2 Available

This is a big one!

Does you possible physician liaison have the availability in their schedule to see the physician relations marketing to fruition?

Are they available and ready to dedicate the full-time that it takes to build a physician outreach marketing program?

They will need to be available to wait to meet with referring doctors when the doctors are currently with patients.

They will need to be available to travel to different practices to deliver patient referral materials and speak with practices.

Are they available for early or after hours for meetings and calls because of the high demands of a physician’s schedule?

The availability of a physician liaison is really essential because it’s that extra time and flexibility that can be the difference in converting physician referrals.

Tip: During the Physician liaison hiring interview is the candidate asking questions only concerning the details of how long they work, weekends and so concerned with their own time? When scheduling the interview did they have limited time slots? If so then probably not the right fit.


Remember to get involved and support all employees and the marketing efforts of your medical practice. The most effective healthcare marketing campaign is the one where the providers get involved when comes to patient care and the practice message.

Online Physician Liaison Training

Need help with physician liaison training? Check out Physician Liaison University™ our end to end online training and certification program for physician liaisons.

Physician liaison marketing has been used by hospital systems for years to strengthen the physician referral relationships for specialist and referring doctors in the community.

Seeing the value that a physician relations marketing program can provide a practice, privately owned medical practices and doctors have adopted the physician relations marketing model.

In order to build a successful physician relations marketing program for your practice, you need a highly skilled and trained physician liaison to serve as the practice ambassador and develop strong referral relationships with local referring doctors.

Developing a New Mindset

Implementing profitable physician liaison marketing involves developing strong genuine relationships with local referring physicians.

In order to create these genuine relationships with referring physicians you MUST develop real value for that referring physician and practice.

Instead of viewing your physician relations marketing program as a “sales” campaign to meet with referring physicians, to promote, advertise, and sell patient treatment services of your practice.  Develop a physician relations marketing program as a unique “service” your practice provides to referring physicians to help streamline referrals, establish direct communication, and enhance the referral relationships.

This means changing the mindset from “sales” to “service” and challenging you to dive deeper into your messaging, presentation, and the value you plan to provide.

physician liaison marketing ebook


What is the Difference between Pharmaceutical & Medical Sales Reps from a Physician Liaison?

Physician Liaisons

Employed By:

Physician specialist or Hospital systems


A physician liaison’s main goal is to convert patient referrals from local physicians and medical practices by building strong referral relationships.  A physician liaison will establish a relationship with referring doctors by developing strong touch points, delivering a message unique to their physicians and practice, and creating value for them and during the referral process.

Physician Relationships:

Based on patient referrals and physician to physician communication

Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Sales Representatives:

Employed By:

Medical device or pharmaceutical company


The goal is to meet with physicians about their products and ultimately increase product sales. These reps help influence them to prescribe the drugs to their patients or to use their products in patient treatment or care.

Physician Relationships:

Based on product sales

Differentiating Yourself 

physician liaison training webinarFor years physicians have interacted with pharmaceutical medical devices sales representatives. A Physician’s main propriety is patient care so when it comes to taking time from clinic to speak with an individual it needs to relevant and important.

Unfortunately, many physicians are burned out from taking time from clinic to speak because the number of medical and pharmaceutical sales rep that come by selling products. These experiences have redefined how individuals will get to speak with physicians and resistance from both doctors and staff.

The challenge a physician liaison faces is to create a memorable experience with the referring physician and practice and clearly communicating their role and importance to them a physician liaison and not a sales rep.

In order to be memorable and establish your role as a credible physician liaison and resource for the referring physician, you MUST differentiate yourself from the “sales” reps that are in the space.

Physician liaisons need to differentiate themselves from the competition and the interactions referring doctors have had in the past with reps looking to build relationships.


How are you presenting yourself to referring practices and doctors? Are your style and presentation memorable to your practice or are you being confused for a medical or pharmaceutical sales rep? Do you look disconnected from the practice you represent or like an outside sales professional brought in to drive sales?


Is your message specific to the needs and wants of the referring physician? Or is the message built on promoting, advertising, and selling the physician and treatments of the practice you represent?


What is the value you are personally providing as a physician liaison to that referring physician or practice? Is your value simply self-promotion and one-sided?

A successful physician liaison understands that in order to create value you will need to focus on providing a service to referring physicians that the competition is not. You must differentiate yourself from the healthcare reps and other marketing and sales professionals they have encountered before. Get creative on how you can enhance referral relationships and remember always be GENUINE!

Online Physician Liaison Training

Need help with physician liaison training? Check out Physician Liaison University™ our end to end online training and certification program for physician liaisons.

Knowing These 5 Physician Liaison Marketing Myths Will Help Build a Profitable Program

Are you looking to grow physician referrals and increase patients for your medical practice?

A physician liaison or physician relations marketing is the most effective way in healthcare marketing to help physicians build local doctor referral relationships to increase both patient referrals and high revenue procedures.

Physician liaison marketing has proven to be extraordinarily effective and lucrative when appropriately executed and hospitals have successfully implemented these programs for years.

Hospitals and large healthcare groups have been utilizing physician relations marketing for years to communicate better and drive physician referrals.

Privately owned medical practices have a large portion of their patient base that is reliant on local physician referrals. Building strong relationships with local PCPs or primary care provider’s results in growing physician referrals, more patients, an increase in high revenue procedures and overall practice revenue.

Seeing the value a physician liaison program can bring to a practice has encouraged more private practice physicians to develop physician liaison marketing programs.

Many physicians want to increase physician referrals and build marketing towards promoting high revenue procedures and surgeries but are not sure how to properly implement a physician relations program.

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Though physicians who have private medical practices know the value of the physician referral marketing programs, they have some common hesitations. I am here to clear up some common misconceptions and myths of physician liaison marketing.

Below are five common myths of physician liaison marketing:

Physician Liaison Marketing Myth #1 – You Need a Physician Liaison with Pharmaceutical or Medical Sales Experience

This is completely FALSE and one of the most common misconceptions physicians have when starting a physician relations marketing program. 

How This Came To Be

Keeping patient care as priority one, the idea of hiring an experienced pharmaceutical representative as a physician liaison will probably help save physicians the required physician liaison training and time.

This decision is based on the misleading belief that their new physician relations director will be adequately trained, has the needed relationships with local physicians to grow referrals, has the experience to track and measure success, and will require less time and management from the practice.

Why this is False

physician liaison marketing guide download (1)

Though pharmaceutical sales representatives have experience speaking with physicians and building their relationships the nature of that relationship is made on medical sales.

Medical sales and physician referrals are two very different purposes and objectives that require two very different approaches and relationships.

Physician liaisons experience VERY DIFFERENT training than that of a pharmaceutical sales representative. It is unfair to expect that the previous training of medical sales will set up them for success in their position as physician relations manager.

The training varies drastically in medical education, territories, tracking, and reporting, the actual physician discussions, visit frequency and follow-up.

The misleading belief that you need to hire a physician liaison with medical sales experience will save you time, avoid the training, and they will have the ability to build your relationships has lead to many failed programs and employee turnover.

To have a successful physician liaison marketing program, they MUST BE PROPERLY TRAINED. You cannot avoid the training process for you physician liaison even one with experience.

As a consultant, I train with every one of my new physician clients when onboarding to guarantee the proper steps are in place to build a lucrative physician referral-marketing program.

For Example

I worked with a specialized dermatology client who wanted to build local referring physician relationships and grow the patient base for the practice.

The physicians hired part-time physician liaisons that had previous experience as medical sales and as pharmaceutical representatives.

The dermatology practice hired the individuals thinking that this previous medical sales experience would be all that they needed to be a successful physician liaison.

The practicing physician reached out to me because the program was struggling and not seeing results and they were having difficulty with physician liaison employee turnover.

The Issues and problems the specialized dermatology practice faced based on this theory:

  • High physician liaison employee turnover
  • The physician liaison marketing was not yielding results
  • Physician liaisons did not have the needed training to organize, track, and report ROI
  • The cost of hiring part-time resulted in less time for referral marketing work
  • The physician liaison lacked the experience and knowledge of EMR reporting
  • Inconsistent referral marketing to physicians
  • Existing physician relationships were built on sales not referral relationships
  • The employee did not know the needed frequency and follow up for visits
  • Expensive marketing – many visits were based on lunches and treats which increased the marketing budget
  • Expensive hires – a part-time pharmaceutical rep will cost just as much if not more than a full-time recent college graduate
  • Loss of time and resources

Hiring an individual that reflects the necessary skill set and is thoroughly trained for the specific needs of your practice will provide you with great results.

A properly trained physician relations manager means that you can hire anyone who presents himself or herself with the needed traits as well as the capabilities to have the drive and achieve the desired goals.

Physician Liaison Marketing Myth #2 – Physician Liaison marketing does not work.

Well, this is completely false, and there are case studies and marketing programs to prove the success that physician liaison marketing has for increasing physician referrals and overall practice revenue. 

How This Came To Be

The unfortunate truth is this is due to failed physician relations marketing programs because they lacked structure, proper training, reporting, tracking, time and commitment.

Failed programs are usually a result of little commitment to the program or cutting corners to save money and time, which reflect on the program.

Why this is False

It’s important to remember that building physician referral relationships is just that building meaningful relationships and having numerous touchpoints and follow-ups.

There must be a structure in the physician relations marketing with tracking pulling marketing reports to monitor referral patterns, designated plans and territories, touchpoints with the providing physician, and consistency.

Not committing to a consistent marketing program with a trained physician liaison, routine visits, tracking, reporting, and proper follow up WILL NOT deliver results.

8 Tips for creating a profitable Physician Liaison Marketing Program:

  1. Commit to the physician relations program both time and financially, DO NOT cut corners
  2. Hire a designated physician liaison to build physician referral relationships and focus on patient growth
  3. Establish benchmarks and goals
  4. Make sure your physician liaison has completed the required training steps and processes
  5. Create tracking and reporting
  6. Have call-to-action (CTA) collateral
  7. Schedule weekly meetings
  8. Measure ROI

In My Experience

I was working with a multi-location urology group that wanted to increase physician referrals and vasectomy procedures a month. They understood the importance that physician relations marketing had in converting patients, so they wanted to begin visiting referring physicians.

They decided that the physician’s wife/office manager would visit 25 offices a day once a month for 3 months out of the year. During these physician referral visits, she would quickly drop off brownies and cards and then on to the next.

There was no tracking of the visits, no physician conversations, and the marketing was not consistent. The physicians in the group noticed that the “referral marketing” was not working, leaving them skeptical.

I spoke at length with the primary physician of the practice about how and why the “referral marketing” currently would not yield the results they wanted.

We assigned a designated physician liaison that had completed the training to the urology practice. The practice committed to the program and we implemented a trained physician liaison, increased physician touchpoints, tracking, reporting, marketing plans, and objectives, follow up, and call-to-action (CTA) collateral.

As a result of committing to the physician relations marketing, the urology practice saw a 752% in returns in ROI in the program and 4x increase in vasectomies a month. The practice also greatly increased in local physician referrals. This was all accomplished in a 90 day period.

Physician Liaison Marketing Myth #3 – You Cannot Track a Physician Liaison.

Tracking is essential in building out a physician referral network, and this theory that they cannot be tracked is FALSE.

How This Came To Be

Simply put, this “myth” came from poor management of marketing and physician relations marketing this idea is the result of lack of effort and inexperience.

Why this is False

Tracking is essential to developing a highly successful physician liaison marketing program.

Tracking referral patterns, previous marketing visits, follow up, and conversations with referring physicians is the only way to have a comprehensive view of the health of the physician relations marketing for the medical practice.

There are many tools and resources that I use to track for physician liaison marketing to better report and provide me with all the information that I need to succeed. Various efforts require tracking that together organize your marketing program.

Tracking will create your physician liaison marketing roadmap and navigate where and how to proceed in the future.

Common Issues that lead to failed physician referral marketing programs based on this theory:

  • No marketing plan to review, discuss or report
  • No base for physician contacts
  • Impossible to measure efforts with results
  • Unable to have proper follow up with referring physicians
  • No way to manage the physician liaison
  • Not tracking referral patterns
  • Inconsistent marketing
  • Disorganization

Physician Liaison Marketing Myth #4 – There is no way to measure ROI.

This is one of the GREATEST misconceptions when it comes to physician liaison marketing.

How This Came To Be

Now as a physician you will not want to hear this, but this issue arises when the physician or physicians of the practice do not know their own numbers or run reports.

If you are serious about implementing a physician relations marketing program, you will need to have a comprehensive view of the current status of the medical practice.

Physicians will need to have the capability to run physician referrals, procedures, and revenue reports.

Why this is False

EMRs and medical clearinghouse information will provide you with these reports for the practice.

How can you measure if a program is producing results if you don’t know the current status?

To measure growth, you must create a measuring stick.

Run physician referral reports and other patient reports to know your numbers and revenue.

You can use these EMR reports to measure the effectiveness of the physician liaison marketing and determine ROI.

If the physician relation marketing is working it will all be there in the numbers.

Common Issues that lead to failed physician referral marketing programs based on this theory:

  • Unable to identify referral targets
  • Can not measure physician referral growth
  • No organization or base
  • Can not measure ROI
  • Have no guide to who’s referring and what for
  • Using Excel as the management system leaving room for human error
  • Loss of crucial physician referral information

Physician Liaison Marketing Myth #5 – Physician Liaison Marketing is Too Expensive

The truth is you have to be willing to spend the money to make money. If you are not willing to financially invest in a physician liaison marketing program then it’s not a fit for your practice.

Physician Liaison marketing is highly lucrative, and it is designed to fit in budgets easily and has an excellent ROI.

When one patient on average can be $500-$5,000 value just a very minimum increase of referrals 2-4 will result in a return on investment.

How to Determine Your Physician Relations Marketing Budget

  1. Run marketing reports to collect an initial practice diagnosis to understand the current status of referral marketing, the procedures, collected revenue, etc.
  2. Establish benchmarks and goals using these marketing reports
  3. Mark the “value per patient.”
  4. Choose the top procedure/s that you are looking to increase, and its value per patient (this procedure may not have as high of a percentage of the patient base but has a significant return on investment)
  5. Choose the procedure or service that can be increased that is lucrative and requires less time and resources, but also serves a large portion of your patient base ( I call this the “keeping the lights on procedure” because it tends to be the majority of services so it results in a large portion of the revenue)
  6. After you have your patient referral averages, established benchmarks and goals, and the VPP (value per patient) you can reasonably see how many new referrals it would take to make an ROI.

Simply put, how many more surgeries or patients need to be seen to cover the cost of the physician liaison program.

Implementing successful physician liaison marketing will result in, increasing local doctor referrals, a rise in high revenue procedures, and overall practice revenue.

If your looking to grow your practice and build local referring physician relationships physician liaison marketing will be the most effective and profitable marketing solution for your medical practice.

Don’t forget to commit the time and resources to guarantee results!

Online Physician Liaison Training

Need help with physician liaison training? Check out Physician Liaison University™ our end to end online training and certification program for physician liaisons.

8 Undeniable Tips to Create Doctor Referral Marketing Relationships

Building a strong a relationship with referring physicians is crucial to sustaining doctor referrals and practice growth. The main component and leading member of your doctor referral marketing team is the physician relations manager or a physician liaison. A physician relations manager builds doctor referral relationships to generate new patient referrals and practice revenue. Maintaining strong relationships with local referring doctors will expand the line of communication between healthcare providers and build the medical practice. Below are tips to maintain a healthy doctor referral relationship.

1. Understanding the Doctor Referral Relationship

When planning a visit to an existing referring physician make sure you refresh yourself with the current referral situation. Understand the relationship that has been built between the two doctors, perhaps they have known each other for years, or did they just begin referring. Is the referring doctor part of the same hospital network? These are all questions that the physician relations marketing director should ask before visiting.

2. Be Prepared

Gather all the information and notes from previous visits to make sure you are prepared to provide a quality visit to the referring physician. You want to take in account that it’s about building a strong and reliable doctor referral relationship. The physician relations director will make notes and shortlist of objectives that need to be accomplished while there. The physician liaison should provide value to the referring physician by addressing any concerns or requests in an efficient manner. Include the information that specifically applies to them and their patients discussing the mutually accepted insurances and affiliated hospital programs.

3. Frequent Visits to Doctor Referral

Build a reasonable healthcare marketing visit schedule to make sure that your referral marketing team or physician relations manager is attentive to the referring physician needs. The last thing you want to hear from a referring physician is that they feel neglected or unrecognized. Make yourself accessible to them so that if they may require materials or have a question regarding patient care they feel there is a quick and easy line of contact. Providing personal contact information will ensure doctor referral requests reach the right person, whether it is the providing physician or physician relations director.

physician liaison training webinar

4. Responsiveness is Key for Physician Liaisons

Make note of the time spent during visits and what factors are most important to medical staff and doctors. If the referring doctor mentions a way the office prefers to handle a doctor referral then accommodate those needs as quickly as possible. Any requests or concerns should be handled at the highest priority to ensure the referring physician can trust you with the highest quality of patient care. When maintaining a strong doctor referral relationship there needs to be a level of trust and accountability.

5. Gratitude for the Referrals

Express a level of gratitude to the referring practice for considering your practice the most qualified to continue their patient’s care. When the physician liaison is marketing to the practice they should acknowledge that the referring doctor has sent new patients and thank them. There are other ways to thank a referring medical practice by writing personal thanks or the providing physician to personally visit the referring doctor.

6. Support of the Physician Liaison

Keep track of the marketing efforts and new services or new doctors at your referring physician’s practice. Introduce yourself to new doctors and executive staff members in the office to extend your relationship with all referring doctors. Show support by referring to them for services that they can provide your patients looking for that care. Attending a referring physician’s open house or medical marketing event is another great way to show your support.

7. Familiarize Yourself with Referring Doctor’s Practice

The physician relations manager should get to know the referring physician staff. Know the roles and responsibilities of staff members to become more efficient between visits. Familiarizing yourself with staff members is a great way to remain memorable and will make the marketing easier and more enjoyable. The nurses and staff members are the backbones of the practice so make sure you show them some love, bring treats or ask about their families. Making a small effort to meet the staff can go a long way!

8. Respectful

Patient care will always come first when it comes to a doctor’s time so keep in mind when meeting a potential doctor referral to be quick and to the point. Don’t require a lot of a doctor’s time during physician liaison marketing visits and don’t request to speak with the referring doctor every visit. There are other members in the office to direct healthcare marketing concerns some even more qualified to deal with referrals.


Remember that maintaining a strong relationship with referring physicians means making sure they’re happy. Relationships are built on mutual’ trust and when it comes to healthcare marketing for physicians patient care is first!

Online Physician Liaison Training

Need help with physician liaison training? Check out Physician Liaison University™ our end to end online training and certification program for physician liaisons.

5 Tips to a Highly Successful Physician Relations Manager Program

A physician relations manager can also be referred to as a physician liaison serving as the marketing representative for the physicians of the medical practice. A physician relations manager job description is to represent the physician to referring doctors. A physician relations manager increases patient referrals from local physicians and increases the overall medical practice revenue. This entails outbound marketing on behalf of the medical practice to promote the medical practice services and referring doctor relationships.

Free physician liaison training Webinar Intrepy

A physician liaison is properly trained to manage and drive new referrals with inbound & outbound marketing efforts. The physician relations director training is crucial to the success of the marketing program for the practice. Training and building a successful physician relations marketing program can prove to be challenging for physicians or clinical managers. It’s important to invest in the proper physician liaison marketing requirements and resources, below are some tips to help you develop a high performing physician relations marketing program.

Defining the Responsibilities of the Physician Relations Marketing Program

physician liaison marketing guide downloadBuilding a physician liaison marketing program involves fully understanding the responsibilities of the physician liaison. Organizing the expected responsibilities will help with communication between staff and the elected physician relations director. Defining these responsibilities will also assist the employing physician and physician liaison-recruiting manager to better select the most qualified physician liaison candidate. The physician relations marketing must start with a clear understanding of the role and its required responsibilities. What does the day to day responsibilities look like? Who will the liaison be reporting to? These are questions that need to be answered before hiring the physician relations manager for the medical practice.

Creating a Structured Physicians Relations Marketing Department

The physician liaison marketing department will need structure and resources to guarantee consistency and build a foundation for the marketing department. Establishing the physician relations program by implementing a management and records system will assist in the efforts of maintaining a strong marketing department. The management and records will be kept, monitored, and constantly growing as the physician liaison builds out the marketing and grows relationships.

The physician’s relations systems will be tangible marketing resources to report, direct, and grow the physician liaison marketing department. The physician liaison marketing will be a large part of the healthcare marketing strategy for the practice and will need the necessary systems to maintain it.

Identifying the Perfect Physician Relations Manager

With your marketing department set in place with the expected responsibilities and protocols, you can begin the search for the physician relations manager. Create a dynamic physician liaison interview questions to ensure the candidate not only understands the position but also has the capabilities to drive new physician referrals.

The physicians relations interview questions need to address the responsibilities of the marketing position as well as educate the candidate on the purpose of driving doctor referrals. Look for an applicant that has completed the necessary education and has a resume that examples discipline, creativity, and people skills. These qualities are the basic characteristics of a successful physician relations manager. Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions and stress that the physician liaison requirements involve outbound and inbound marketing efforts.

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Establishing Measurable Goals and Benchmarks

How can you measure growth and success without any metrics? Evaluate the current status of patient growth and physician referrals. Understanding the current doctor referral cycle will better help you evaluate the physician relations marketing program. Establishing the benchmarks and creating targeted goals for the marketing program will help with measuring the program but also with communication.

The physician relations manager must have a clear understanding of the desired areas needed for growth and how that equates to an increase of revenue for the medical practice. Perhaps, not all goals involve measuring patients some may be getting in front of a large practice or doctor. These benchmarks and goals all are part of the physician liaison training program. The goals should include reasonable timelines and plans once they are met to take the marketing program to the next level.

Training the Physician Relations Manager

You have developed a healthcare marketing program, defined the physician relations manager responsibilities, established marketing benchmarks and goals, and identified a liaison that meets all the practice criteria. The most important action is the proper training of the physician relations manager. Physician liaison training programs entail outbound and inbound marketing training. Training a liaison will require time and proper management without these the liaison will be limited in their ability to succeed.

The physician liaison training will comprise of:

  • Day to Day physician liaison responsibilities
  • Doctor office visits
  • The proper education and communication between referring doctors and medical staff
  • Referral marketing follow up protocols
  • Creating healthcare marketing collateral
  • Reporting on physician referral growth and other metrics
  • Designing an effective marketing plan
  • Tracking the doctor office visits
  • Understanding the necessary time devoted to the marketing

The physician liaison training is vital to the success of the marketing program. The training will require an experienced manager and the commitment of the physician to ensure it was completed at the highest level.

Reporting and Tracking the Physician Relations Manager

physician liaison training webinarAn organized management system will be required to track and report the success of the physician liaison marketing program. An organized system will maintain consistency and help retain the growth of the referral marketing program. A physician relations manager will need a system to keep records of physician visits and patient growth. These reports will assist in generating the medical practice analytics and interpret where the marketing program will focus on moving forward.

The most important thing to remember when tracking and reporting as a physician relations manager is not to just track where you have been but pulling the revenue growth based on your efforts as a liaison. The reporting will be focused on detailed information on patient growth and ROI, or return on investment. The ROI reports are the way the providing physician can evaluate the physician liaison marketing and it’s contribution to the increase in patients and revenue for the medical practice.

The benefits of tracking and reporting of the physician liaison marketing are:

  • Track medical practice visits
  • Organize contacts
  • Evaluate growth and ROI
  • Create a marketing navigation map

Online Physician Liaison Training

Need help with physician liaison training? Check out Physician Liaison University™ our end to end online training and certification program for physician liaisons.

Physician Liaison Marketing Mistakes to Avoid 

Establishing a successful physician liaison marketing program is vital for a private practice to generate new referrals from local doctors. When it comes to healthcare marketing the physician liaison referral marketing is the most effective for increasing new patient referrals from primary care and specialty doctors. The challenge is sustaining and managing a successful physician liaison program. If your physician liaison marketing for your practice is not producing results and growing doctor referrals you may be making these common mistakes.

1. Bargain Shopping or Not Making the Necessary Marketing Investment

Don’t be cheap! If you expect your referral marketing to deliver top results quickly and effectively you need to invest in it. The biggest liaison marketing mistake doctors make is being cheap when hiring a physician liaison by looking for the least expensive candidate to create and direct the largest portion of your marketing department.

If you are picking a physician liaison and your most important criteria is that they were the lowest investment your physician liaison marketing will reflect that. No offense but an untrained recently graduated college student that majored in marketing is just not going to cut it without proper training.

Evaluate your practice revenue and develop a budget that fits your practice and invest in the highest quality candidate. Candidates that meet the quality criteria that you need to successfully manage your physician liaison marketing will produce the most effective results in the long run.

Individuals with marketing and healthcare experience will bring additional assets and a huge value to your marketing department. Hiring for experience and know-how will result in less stress and improved effectiveness which leads to sustainable growth.

Read for more information on the qualities needed to be a successful physician liaison.
physician liaison marketing mistakes

2. No Access to Marketing Reports and Practice Analytics

Know your numbers! All too often physicians do not track or run referral analytics reports. How can you measure the growth of your referrals if you haven’t created systems to do so?

It is essential to develop marketing reports to track/measure your patient referrals and revenue. These reports will also provide the practice with a map to structure where the referral marketing efforts should be directed.

Referral marketing analytics provides a huge upfront value for your practice by providing a fully comprehensive view of the current status of the doctor referrals and revenue.

3. Not Creating Marketing Benchmarks

Once you have developed a comprehensive referral marketing report to evaluate the results and establish marketing benchmarks.

Benchmarks provide the physician liaison with attainable and measurable goals. They also help keep your referral marketing organized and everyone on the same page as to how the practice is measuring the success of the program.

As the employing doctor, you can easily track the return on investment (ROI) and the overall value referral marketing has provided for your practice.

4. Not Establishing Marketing Goals

A big liaison marketing mistake any doctor can make is not discussing and setting achievable goals for their physician liaison. Once you have completed the necessary steps and identified benchmarks set time aside to have a clear discussion with the physician liaison on what a “win” looks like for the practice.

There are many ways to measure a successful physician relations manager the most obvious being an increase in physician referrals. Other elements to measure when analyzing efforts are an increase in new patient referrals, new doctor referrals, and high revenue procedures.

It is important to communicate these goals with your physician liaison so they are on the same page with you as the practice owner. If a physician liaison is only working towards one goal it limits the overall success of the referral marketing and creates frustration and confusion for both the doctor and the liaison.

It may seem obvious but simply implying what needs to be done is not enough to define your marketing goals and lay them out.

5. No Real Physician Liaison Training

Mastering the art referral marketing entails training, lots of training. If you want a five-star healthcare marketing program your physician liaisons will need to complete an extensive amount of training. The first month of a physician liaison’s work at the practice should be “learning the ropes”. Medical marketing requires the necessary amount of medical training and research.

As the medical director, make sure you have put in the time to train your employee about the services of the practice and the knowledge of your specialty along with common FAQs. Schedule time with them to train in different aspects of the practice on top of speaking and visiting with doctors.

Remember, your physician liaison is a representative of your practice, your voice so to speak, and is there to build referral relationships and bridge the gap of communication.

Training requires investing time upfront and organizing multiple schedules but it fully equips your liaison with the knowledge and confidence needed to be successful. A properly trained physician liaison is the most effective and reflects the level of professionalism of the medical practice.

6. Forgoing Weekly Marketing Meetings

As the medical director schedule a set time and day in the week to discuss marketing with your physician liaison.

Consistent marketing meetings allow the physician liaison the time with the doctor to recap the week and discuss the upcoming agenda. Use these healthcare marketing meetings to discuss the previous week’s highlights.

Marketing meetings should not be too long because they are simply to review the physician liaison marketing and open communication.

Your time is precious but invaluable to the program. 15 minutes for weekly marketing meetings should be sufficient and will help the progress of the physician liaison marketing by keeping you up to date with referring doctors.

7. Not Expanding Their Healthcare Marketing Network

Make introductions for your physician liaison to your network of healthcare professionals.

As a doctor, you have worked throughout the years with other physicians and medical professionals so introduce your marketer to them and their responsibilities.

By expanding their network of medical professionals you will increase their credibility and streamline their access to referring physicians and medical practices.

Your physician liaison can also assist you in pursuing meetings with other healthcare professionals that may have fantastic synergies.

8. No Marketing Contact List

physician liaison training webinarWhen onboarding your physician liaison provide them with the contacts the practice has accumulated including staff members, pharmaceutical reps, clinical managers, doctors, caterers, hospital contacts, and other healthcare professionals.

This list will help avoid wasting unnecessary time to obtain information and delay any communication needed for marketing. While out in the field visiting referring doctors your physician liaison will acquire a multitude of healthcare contacts.

Supply the physician liaison with the necessary resources to organize their healthcare contacts. A contact system or software is the best to have all medical contacts and action items organized to create consistent workflows for marketing.

9. Refusing or Being Slow to Respond to Feedback

The easiest way to damage the efforts of your physician liaison is not responding to the referral marketing feedback they bring to your attention.

Your physician liaison is an extension of your practice and serves as a direct line of communication to the practice physician.

The physician liaison will receive information that will require your attention and expertise.

Restricting their communication with you as the practice medical director makes the physician liaison unable to respond in an efficient amount of time or provide any value to the referring doctors.

Mistakes happen, do not get offended or place the blame if the ball has been dropped, and definitely do not shoot the messenger. React quickly, handle the situation and 9/10 times everything will iron itself out.

10. Lack of Support

This may sound self-explanatory, so the best way to describe how doctors can ruin their physician liaison marketing program is by listing ways they can fail to show support:

  • Lack of Communication with Physician Liaison
  • Not including the physician liaison in meetings regarding the medical practice
  • Not providing the necessary resources
  • Not providing additional practice staff assistance
  • Constantly unavailable
  • Inconsistent marketing meetings
  • Canceling on marketing events
  • Not willing to listen to their marketing recommendations & advice
  • Not following through on marketing projects
  • Overruling them on marketing agendas or delaying tasks
  • No structure
  • Overloading the physician liaison with outside projects unrelated to marketing

11. Not Providing the Necessary Resources for Healthcare Marketing

Don’t leave your physician liaison empty-handed.

Not providing your physician liaison with the resources they need to execute on marketing tasks only hurts the overall strategy.

They may require financing to develop marketing collateral for events and referral marketing. Help by reimbursing them for personal costs they may have obtained while marketing for the medical practice.

Not all resources are financial most will be in contacts and Intel.

Give the physician liaison all the structure they need to perform at the highest level. Physician liaison marketing can be complex and there are so many ways to ramp up patient referrals to make sure they have all they need to accomplish their marketing tasks.

12. Unwilling to Listen

Physician liaisons work primarily outside the medical office and their day-to-day interactions are with referring doctors, hospitals, and healthcare professionals.

They not only bring information about your medical practice but find ways the practice can better serve the needs of the referring physicians. Referring doctors may ask for something to help them when sending referrals or have questions and possible concerns.

Listen to your physician liaison if they approach you with ideas to better serve the needs of the referring doctors it may be the key to maximizing outcomes.

Patient care is the highest priority when it comes to referring physicians and the medical practice.

Listen to the suggestions your physician liaison may have for improving the patient’s experience at the practice as this insight can make all the difference and help retain patients as well as generate positive reviews.

Healthcare marketing has many new ways of helping doctors grow their patients or improve their experiences as your physician liaison. They can give you great consulting insight to help expand the marketing efforts of the practice, utilize their knowledge and work.

13. Micro-Managing Your Healthcare Marketing Program

Where is the line between managing and micromanaging?

Unfortunately, this is a mistake doctors make all too often. Micromanaging can delay marketing and stunt the growth of patient referrals.

If you do not give your physician liaison the appropriate amount of authority to execute on marketing projects you are only slowing down the process by making them constantly wait on your approval for every project.

Let’s face it your busy being an incredible doctor you don’t have time to research healthcare marketing events or hospital reps.

Don’t waste your time getting involved in every detail of the marketing initiatives establish a balance with your physician liaison.

Discuss what needs to be accomplished or what you need and give them the responsibility to get it to 99% completion before your final stamp of approval.

Trust in the capabilities of your physician liaison to effectively delegate tasks and get the marketing accomplished to the highest degree of professionalism.

14. Unwilling to Invest Time in the Referral Growth Efforts

Time is the biggest investment any doctor will need to make when it comes to building a highly successful physician liaison marketing program.

After all, the doctor is the star of the show, and the time you invest will boost your referral marketing program. If you are unwilling to put in the time to meet with your physician liaison or referring doctors you can not expect to be successful. Take the time to:

  • Examine referral marketing reports
  • Review analytics
  • Attend marketing meetings
  • Train your liaison
  • Teach them about the medical practice and specialty
  • Market to referring physicians
  • Attend lunches and events
  • Collaborate with medical practice staff
  • Provide resources
  • Organize contacts
  • Address referring doctor’s concerns
  • Explore other marketing outlets
  • Approve pending marketing projects and contracts
  • Provide feedback and creative input

Building and sustaining a highly successful physician liaison marketing program requires time and experience but if done incorrectly can cause damage to your referral program.

Implementing structure and hiring an experienced marketing professional to help build your physician liaison marketing program can help your practice grow doctor referrals and maintain patient growth.


Developing and running a successful physician liaison marketing program is not a small endeavor for a practice. It requires training, organization, consistency, tracking and physician involvement but if done right can be the most effective way to grow a practice over time. Pay attention to the things in this list to avoid costly mistakes, wasted time and potential setbacks that could render your program much less productive.

If you are struggling to handle the physician liaison responsibilities or need help with the training process we have an online physician liaison training and certification program, Physician Liaison University™.

Which Physician Liaison Approach Will Grow My Referrals?

Quality vs. Quantity, the ongoing battle for doctors when it comes to the physician liaison marketing program for their practices. Physician referrals can be the lifeline for many doctor practices to generate new patients. Building and maintaining referrals from primary care and specialty providers in an area are essential to the growth of any medical practice.

But, often physicians face the dilemma of consistency and sustainability when it comes to growing referrals. This dilemma tends to lead back to the question of quality visits compared to the quantity of visits. Which approach is best for my practice? Are there Pros and Cons to both methods? In this post, we are going to put these two strategies head to head and break down the importance they have to your long-term physician liaison marketing program.

To get things started, we are first going to look at what the difference is between quality physician visits and quantity physician visits by your physician liaison.

What is the difference?

Quality Physician Referral Marketing Visit Defined

A quality physician liaison practice visit is measuring the practice visits by the value. This means evaluating the meeting by the relevance of the referring doctor to the practice, time spent at the practice, introductions that were made, the content of the conversation, and the follow up needed.  Quality visits are applying an effective strategy based on benchmarks and goals for your referrals. This strategy is developed, at its core, by establishing extensive referral marketing analytics, trends, and tracking so you have benchmarks and baselines in place to monitor growth and results.

It is vital to have a comprehensive understanding of your current doctor referrals and an organized marketing plan out of the gate when using the quality physician referral method. This allows your physician liaison the ability to continuously measure results and increase patient growth without guesswork or “gut feeling.” It provides a consistent marketing strategy and marketing sustainability.

All too often in this approach, the measuring stick for its success is that the doctor has noticed that the practice is relatively busier or they heard a physician is now referring. That just will not cut it in the long run if you want to succeed with a quality approach because you need to be strategic and calculated and the only effective way to achieve this is through data, analytics, and a well thought out plan.

Quality marketing without tracking is like going to a gunfight without a gun. You are asking your physician liaison to market blind. It’s not good for them and detrimental to your practice in the long run. Organizing your referral-marketing program can help physicians grow their referrals and expand their practice.

12 Points of a Quality Physician Liaison Approach

  • Knowledge of current referral status
  • Establish benchmarks
  • Develop marketing reports
  • Identify referral trends
  • Target high referring physicians and practices
  • Research referring physicians in the area
  • Create a marketing agenda
  • Set up comprehensive analytics and tracking
  • Generate workflow protocol
  • Report interactions and conversations and Leads
  • Highlight events, meetings, and follow up
  • Pulling analytics and reporting ROI

Read this for more Tips on Building Your Referral Marketing Program.

Quantity Physician Referral Marketing Visit Defined

A quantity physician liaison practice approach is visiting all of the identified physician practices that could be a potential referral in a particular geographical radius surrounding your medical practice. After running a report and complying a list of all of the doctor’s offices that meet your criteria, a physician liaison visits every single one (if feasible) in a 30-day time frame.

physician liaison training webinar

The objective of this approach is to visit all of your neighboring physicians and to increase awareness of your practice in hopes of seeing a 5-10% referral response from your practice network. This can be a highly effective initial approach when a practice is in a “launch” phase having just opened its doors in a new area or recently brought on a new physician that does not have a book of patients in that area for one reason or another.

7 Points of a Quality Physician Liaison Approach

  • Collect and order a large volume of referral marketing collateral
  • Research all doctors in a 35-mile radius of the practice
  • Assign a physician liaison
  • Segment by territory
  • Double or triple the amount of office visits in a day
  • Visit all physicians within 30 days
  • Brand awareness increase

The Pros and Cons of Quality & Quantity Doctor Office Visits:

Quality Referral Marketing Visits


  • Organized marketing program
  • Tracking & analytics
  • Excellent customer service for referrals
  • Professional and experienced physician liaison
  • Significant increase in patient referrals
  • Easy to keep track of office visits & follow-ups
  • Provides liaison management tools
  • Establishes more meaningful connections with referring doctors
  • Creates consistency
  • More sustainability with doctor referrals and physician relationships
  • Boosts high revenue procedures
  • Ongoing marketing
  • Generates new and growing revenue
  • Return on ROI
  • Expands practice


  • Involves set up
  • More time with each practice visit
  • Requires more time and energy for :
    • Follow up visits
    • Events and lunches
    • Marketing time with the physician of your practice
    • Marketing management and reports

Quantity Referral Marketing Visits


  • Minimal to no setup
  • Quicker “jumpstart” or uptick in referral marketing results
  • Higher amount of practices visited in a shorter amount of time
  • Does not require a skilled physician liaison
  • Less time and energy
  • Low physician requirements
  • Low time commitment


  • No tracking or reporting
  • Difficult to measure ROI
  • Lack of doctor referral sustainability
  • Not as effective
  • Hard to keep track of physicians, visits, and follow through
  • Limits the ability to revisit and build relationships with referring physicians without the possibility of annoying staff
  • Quickly oversaturate market
  • Spotty marketing or on and off marketing efforts

Which Approach is Best For My Practice?

The more, the merrier, right? In the case of referral marketing, this is not true. It is vital to remember that referring doctors are looking to build a relationship with a provider they can trust their patients will receive the highest quality care from. Quality referral marketing ensures you build a sustainable referral marketing program that can last for years.

It provides physicians with the top of line service and solid referral relationships. The most well-run physician liaison programs are those that understand building doctor referral relationships is a marathon, not a sprint. These are human relationships that you are building, and it takes time to establish a know, like and trust with your colleagues, especially the ones that may have never referred to you before. However, there can be a time and place for a Quantity approach to your marketing. Below are a few times it could play an important role:

  • Immediate & necessary update of information for all providers in the area to not disrupt current referral patterns
    • Change of office hours
    • New address in the same city
    • Large shift in insurance accepted
  • Hire a new physician
  • Bring on an important new procedure

Outside of these and a few other examples, it is not advised to implement a quantity marketing approach long term. It will oversaturate and can even end up being detrimental to what you are working so hard to accomplish in the long run.

The physician liaison program helps navigate and organize efforts to reach practice goals and build relationships. You can track trends, territories, high revenue procedures, and consistent follow-ups. Like anything worth building it requires experience, proper skill set, ongoing maintenance, consistent management, reporting, and lots of time and hard work. So roll up your sleeves and get to work building those new referral relationships!


Do any of these questions apply to your practice?

Not sure what to do next? Our sister company, founded by our own Kelley Knott, Physician Liaison University™ is the first and only online physician liaison training program and certification!