Saturday, August 16, 2008

Who already has a website?

So, let’s have a quick look at how many medical practitioners in Australia have websites. I couldn’t find any statistics on this kind of measure myself so I’ve had to revert to first principles.

According to the Australian Institute of Health the number of registered medical practitioners in Australia in 2005 was 68,000. Take out those who are registered but not working in medicine or those still undergoing their training or are working only in the public system and you get down to about 35,000 doctors who might be interested in operating a website. Applying a rough ratio of 2 practitioners on average per practice (assuming this is the unit that would advertise) you get to about 17,000 practices that might want to promote themselves online.

The reality is much less. By searching the yellow pages or the web in general for doctors that have websites you realise that the number is probably less than 100. ie less than 1% of practices advertise.

Most who do have a website are larger or specialist practices.

Why? Perhaps there is more of a need to promote yourself when your potential market is smaller (ie you are drawing potential patients from a wider geographical area and can’t rely on the GP shortage to drive a constant stream of business). For larger practices the decision is more obvious - they understand that they are operating a business and the need to promote it and often will have the staff to do this (eg a practice manager to co-ordinate the exercise).

Of course being a medical practitioner is not all about generating new business. Other sites focus on profiling the doctor, their publications, research and other interests. Sometimes these sites seem to be a little like vanity publishing or raising their prestige amongst their colleagues. Another set of sites seem to have been set up by the doctor themselves as a hobby (if they have an IT bent). Sometimes obviously so ;-)

So the bottom line is there aren’t many medical practitioner websites in Australia so if you set one up you will stand out!

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1 comment:

  1. I've slightly updated my views on medical practitioner websites. There are about 2-3 times as many as I originally estimated however many of them just aren't easy to find!