Personal Branding For Doctors

Strong personal brand and online visibility can increase doctors' revenue streams and effectively extend their reputation. Here's how to get started.

Sunayana Samantaray
Sunayana Samantaray
21st Jun 2023 • 8m read

Personal branding for doctors in medical marketing is a relatively new concept. The scope of work for doctors today has evolved beyond patient care and into medical education, endorsements, and social media influence because of the internet. A doctor’s personal branding generally showcases the doctor as an individual and highlights their skillset, services, and overall professional reputation. 

There is no doubt that a strong personal brand and online visibility for doctors can increase revenue streams and effectively extend their reputation. We spoke with Dr Ernesto Gutierrez (Dr E), the owner of the medical marketing agency Practice Growth Formula to get his advice and expert insight on personal branding for doctors.

Trained as a physician, with more than ten years experience running a private practice and working as a clinician, Dr E coaches, trains, and helps healthcare providers practice on their own terms, serve more patients, and make the income they deserve.

Intrigued? Keep reading to determine whether, as a doctor, you should invest in your personal brand, how you can get started, and learn about the potential benefits and drawbacks of personal branding.

URL: - Practice on your own terms.

What’s the point of a personal brand?

The point of creating a personal brand is to establish a unique identity that sets you apart from others in your industry or field. A strong personal brand can help you establish trust, build a reputation as an expert, and increase your visibility and credibility. 

It can also help you attract new clients or job opportunities, as people are more likely to remember and recommend someone with a strong personal brand. Additionally, creating a personal brand can help you stay focused on your goals and values, and ensure that your online presence accurately reflects who you are and what you stand for.

Establish your expertise and build trust to create a strong personal brand as a doctor - Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Doctors and personal branding: why do you need it?

Although growing, doctors and personal branding in the current healthcare field is still a relatively new concept. Many physicians who are employed full time may wonder why branding is necessary and if it’s worth investing the time to build a personal brand. There is still the perception of self-marketing and branding being considered taboo in the industry. Dr E draws attention to general medical training and education that strictly “focus on making you a great clinician” while excluding other pertinent skills that are essential to prepare you “to really make a living from being a physician,” which will ultimately help maximize your income. Skills needed to handle the day-to-day demands, such as job searching, interviewing, sales, and marketing training are often overlooked. 

The lack of incorporation of these versatile and in-demand skills into medical training adds to the taboo nature of personal branding for doctors. However, if optimizing your revenue, creating a strong professional reputation, increasing patient volume, and adapting to changing times are what you want, then building a solid personal brand is for you. 


Dr E states that “patients choose their doctors based on their perceived expertise,” which is why personal branding for doctors is so crucial. There is no way for an everyday patient to compare and know “who the best doctor is” between two equally qualified physicians. 


Patients generally don’t have access to information about the doctor’s education and case records to make an objective decision. Hence, the doctor with a higher perceived value will be chosen. In order to achieve a high-perceived value and be chosen, a doctor needs to build a strong personal brand. 

Dr E further states that personal branding will get you recognition for your skillset, expertise, humanity, and empathy, which will help patients connect with you and decide to choose you instead of “just being assigned to you” via your hospital system or insurance. Your personal branding allows patients to get to know you and choose you. 

Additionally, Dr E emphasizes, personal branding gives doctors options and leverage. It provides the ability for better salary negotiation, the opportunity to build a private practice, and the power to take control of one’s career. Increased perceived value will open up doors and help reduce the burnout in medicine

Along with building patient lists, doctors need personal branding to keep up with the times. As we all know, patients relying on the internet to find compatible physicians and healthcare information is on the rise. This places great value on a doctor’s online presence.

According to the AMA 2022 Digital Healthcare Study findings, physician participants stated that motivators such as remote patient care, new revenue streams, patient demand, and health equity increased the importance of digital tools in healthcare. Increasing online visibility with a strong personal brand will increase your patient panel, build patient trust, augment clinical care, and help advance your professional goals. 

How to build your personal brand as a doctor: get started

The internet is a limitless pool for marketing avenues, which makes building your personal brand as a doctor easier than ever. Dr E says your personal brand is “an asset that appreciates” and by investing in this asset, “you are investing in yourself [and your] professional career”. He says the first step is to “figure out how to get your ideas out there”, and the medium does not matter. 

The primary and most important element of building your personal brand is to get started. Be it Youtube, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, blogs, e-books, podcasts, or mini-courses, all these platforms are there to help you get started. Dr E says it is vital to overcome our fear of putting ourselves out there. 

Craft a successful personal brand as physicians to prescribe success. - Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

It's as simple as creating a free Twitter account, posting on LinkedIn, or sharing your ideas on someone’s podcast. It is also important to focus on one platform when you start instead of diverting your energy into multiple areas to avoid getting overwhelmed. 

Once you get started, it’s time to expand by building your audience and by listening to what your audience wants. Dr E quotes Nicolas Cole and Dickie Bush and states, “Make noise and listen for signals”, which means you need to start publishing quality content regularly and customizing and adjusting your content to meet your audience's needs, wants, and demands to grow. This requires consistency, volume, and a determination to learn and adapt. 

Dr E also says you can also grow your personal brand offline, by sharing your details with patients and people looking to learn more about you and your area of expertise. He says your patients are a great source of content and you can draw inspiration and grow your brand by simply answering their common questions on your platform. 

However, we know that putting yourself out there can be intimidating and daunting which requires determination, and public skills. But don’t let that fear stop you, because acquiring these skills is less complicated than you think. You can enroll in professional development courses to polish your communication and teaching skills that will help grow your personal brand and advance your professional life. 

Build a healthy brand for a wealthy future and boost your earnings as a doctor. - Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

Ways to maximize your earning potential with your personal brand

The benefits of personal branding for doctors also includes maximizing your earning potential. There are several ways to increase your revenue stream through personal branding including sponsorship, affiliate marketing, workshops, courses, book deals, and increased patient volume. A strong personal brand facilitates and opens doors to these revenue opportunities. 

Below are tips for increasing your earning potential using your personal branding. Choose the tips that apply to your personal brand. 


  • Find your voice and determine what you want to be recognized for and build a solid audience base. Remember to take audience engagement into account for brand success. 
  • Be consistent and publish quality and engaging content to attract sponsors and brands to your page. 
  • Write a book and choose a publisher that will make it a success. Don’t forget to market it yourself too. 
  • Build your brand both offline and online. Share your brand with your patients, colleagues, and friends. Be sure to have your social media profiles, course information, or e-book link always ready to share. 
  • Provide optimal service to your patients and maintain a high rating on doctor rating and review sites. Sign up for popular doctor review sites including ZocDoc, Google My Business, RateMDs, Yelp, and WebMD. Don’t forget to ask your patients to give you an online review. 
  • Build an email list and send emails that are valuable and useful for your audience. 
  • Take inspiration from your colleagues and fellow doctors with strong personal brands. 
  • Go on podcasts and do interviews. Remember, exposure is great for personal brands. 
  • Network, network, and network. Embrace networking with your colleagues, industry experts, brands, sponsors, patients, audiences, and even non-industry professionals. 
  • Offer mini-courses, workshops, or training. You can offer daily tips based on your medical expertise. 
  • Polish and acquire new marketing and communication skills. 
  • Hire marketing agencies or join a personal branding workshop. 
  • Invest a minimum of ten minutes daily in your brand. 
Proceeding with caution and building a responsible personal brand are paramount to a doctor’s personal branding strategy. - Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

Personal branding for doctors: what are the potential drawbacks?

There are two sides to every coin, and along with the many benefits of personal branding for doctors, there are also potential drawbacks. These drawbacks can affect patients, general perception, the healthcare industry, and even the physician. 

Building a public personal brand while wearing your professional hat invites your affiliated institutions to be an audience, which can sometimes backfire on your career. Currently, information gathered from the internet is often used to make admission, employment, and even termination decisions. If your online posts, books, or podcasts are construed to be unprofessional or in breach of your organization’s social media guidelines then you can face negative repercussions. 

The ethical conundrum of doctors being associated with brands, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing has formed polarizing opinions. Similar to physician and pharmaceutical company dynamics, doctors and brand relationships also stir up controversies. Practicing doctors who endorse and earn revenue from healthcare supplements or nutrition products can become a source of conflict and discomfort for their patients. 

Supplements, unlike prescription drugs, often don’t have to go through a solid vetting process which can carry risks and lead to negative consequences for both the physician’s brand, career, and their consumers. Additional burnout from investing in personal branding while maintaining a full-time physician job is also another potential drawback. 


There are advantages and disadvantages to everything, and focusing on the benefits of personal branding for doctors while promoting your brand responsibly is key to building an ethical and strong personal brand. Choose your brand associations carefully, double-check your online content, and adhere to healthcare industry ethical boundaries to build a responsible personal brand that allows you to invest in yourself and grow your medical career.