Role of a Physician Liaison & Referring Doctors

A physician liaison serves as a representative for a doctor, medical practice, or hospital. As the representative they bridge the gap of communication between referring doctors and specialty physicians. Doctor referrals are the lifeline of a medical practice and a physician liaison’s main 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 physician liaison will visit with referring physicians on behalf of the referred doctor. During these physician liaison marketing 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 on any news of the practice and provide doctors and their medical staff with a direct line of communication back to the office. A highly successful physician liaison will be well trained and educated in the practice treatments and specialty procedures. Key points a physician liaison will address as the representative of the medical practice are:

  • Growing doctor referrals
  • Connecting with local healthcare community
  • Serve as Physician relations
  • Customer service representative for medical practices
  • Director of Marketing
  • Building relationships with fellow physician liaison in private and hospital setting
  • Event management & coordination

Growing Referring Doctors Referrals

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. This 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 referral marketing program for the specialty physician. A physician liaison referral marketing program will result in an increase of practice revenue and patient growth. With referring doctors contributing to over half of your patient base they are the most important business relationship to a specialty medical practice.

In order 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. 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 significant value to the practice by accumulating new doctor referrals and substantially increasing the medical practice revenue. 

Read for more information on the qualities of a top physician liaison.

Connecting with the Local Healthcare Community

It is important for any doctor to stay closely connected with their local healthcare community. A physician liaison will be in charge of communicating with hospital professionals and local medical practices. Routinely staying involved in healthcare events and attending physician gatherings 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 large 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. Working with local hospitals will help the specialty physician be recognized in the community for their excellence in high quality patient care and treatments.

Building Physician Relations

The physician liaison is the manager of physician relations. They will coordinate the schedules of referring doctors to specialty physicians. 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 best physician to provide superior medical care. A physician liaison will help deliver this message to local referring physicians by arranging 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.

Read for more information on physician liaison referral marketing programs & training.

Customer Service Representative for Medical Practices

A physician liaison will also serves as “customer service” representative 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 only there to discuss the treatments and services of the specialty physician but get feedback from referring medical practices.

Relaying the feedback from referring doctors and clinicians is vital to the physician liaison position. Addressing the feedback in a quick and efficient manner will provide a huge value to the referring medical practice to ensure their needs are met and they are happy with the services they were provided by the medical practice. Sometimes patient referrals are dropped or slowed due to simple mistakes like wrong fax number or lack of 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. 

Marketing Director

Considering doctor referrals compose over half the patient base of a specialty physician’s practice the main healthcare 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 high revenue procedures that have room for growth.

The responsibility of the physician liaison to have reporting in place and an extensive knowledge of the practice to 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 liaison’s 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 on-boarding large marketing initiatives and which marketing specialist is best.


A physician liaison is a highly trained representative of a physicians practice responsible with growing local doctor referrals and physician relations. As a result, a physician liaison helps provide valuable marketing insight for physicians and generates new practice revenue. Physician liaisons help private practice physicians connect with referring doctors and expand their local healthcare network. In building local healthcare connections physician liaisons provide direct communication and make beneficial introductions for the doctors. A physician liaison adds tremendous value to the medical practice and a well constructed healthcare marketing program. A physician’s liaison sole dedication is helping expand the specialty physician’s healthcare network, increase patient referrals, and increase the overall revenue of the practice.

If you are looking to revamp or launch your physician liaison referral marketing program fill out a form or give us a call. We offer comprehensive consulting, training & IT audits and programs to grow your new patient referrals and practice revenues. Schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation. Talk soon and thanks for reading!

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Kelley Knott

Kelley is the CEO and Co-Founder of Intrepy Healthcare Marketing. She is a highly experienced physician liaison and has a background in consulting medical and dental practices on how to build new patient referrals and create digital marketing strategies.

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