What You Don't Know About Surgeons

What if you only had to do your job once or twice per year? Apart from the tempting thought of how great your life would be without work, imagine the practical fact of how your skills that you use on a daily basis might be affected by only using them once or twice per year. How much would you forget in the time between using your skills? How much of what you do could be like riding a bike – just inherent knowledge that you'll always have? Now imagine if you were a surgeon doing procedures on patients. Seems like a fairly complicated thing – and we generally tend to trust in the surgeons that operate on us. Would it surprise you to learn that 78% of surgeons who perform ACL knee operations, for example, only do 1-2 per year? Or that of the 50 procedures an average orthopedic surgeon does per year, 30 of them are procedures he or she only does once per year?

These were some of the most interesting data points shared by Robert Winder, the CEO of VuMedi – an online community that allows surgeons to share videos of procedures that they do with other surgeons. Winder is one of the speakers at the FDA public hearings that I have also been speaking at today, all about how pharma brands should be able to use the Internet for promotion. Because these hearings are the first in over a decade, there is a lot of attention from everyone in the medical community. People have been invited to speak to share opinions on how the FDA should or should not be regulating this industry.

Whether or not you care about the hearings, the simple fact is that just about everyone in any sort of medical company is paying attention to these hearings. Thinking like a marketer, this is a dream audience for anyone who has a product to sell to the pharma industry to get in front of. As Winder shared his slides on why VuMedi is a great tool for surgeons, he also shared how pharma brands could work with his site. His presentation was on topic, but was also a very smart way to promote his site. Now just about every pharma brand that is paying attention to these hearings (which is nearly all of them) have heard about his site and how they can work with it.

What's the lesson in all this? Well, one lesson is that anything can be an opportunity to promote your brand if you use it well – even a moment as dry as an FDA hearing. The other lesson, of course, is to do a bit more research before selecting your surgeon for an ACL surgery … :-)

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