Radiologist Archetypes & Mythbusters for Healthcare Marketers

Last week our team of experienced healthcare marketers sat down with Jayson A. Lord, MD to get an inside look at what makes radiologists tick.  Dr. Lord, who lives in Tampa, Florida and performs radiology for practices nationwide, discussed ways to understand radiologist motivators, tricks for how to get the good doctors involved with marketing and physician relations and spent time going through “Radiologist Mythbusters” which was a session where marketing representatives were able to state their radiologist assumptions in an open forum and discuss ways to overcome them.

One of the biggest questions Dr. Lord wanted to address was why radiologists often choose their profession. “Radiologists are typically very analytic thinkers, they love puzzles and problem solving. Radiology is the ultimate puzzle,” he said about his profession.  Getting to the root of why people choose certain paths in life intrigues Dr. Lord, and he drew from components of Jungian archetypes to explain physician motivators and the individuals who contribute to a practice’s success. The four quadrants of Jungian archetypes, which most people fall into, are The King, The Warrior, The Magician and The Joker.  As a King; individuals are filled with confidence and authority which can be a very good or very bad thing depending on the individual. The Warrior serves as a dutiful worker, while The Magician is able to utilize tricks and an engaging personality to “make things happen.”  The Joker is traditionally less motivated and looked at as the hopeless romantic of society. So which category does your radiologist fall into?

Lord says that most radiologists identify with the Warrior archetype. They want to show up to work, get through their stack of reads and move on with their systematic schedule.  Most radiologists that own their own independent practices, like Dr. Lord, fall into The King category, which can have both positive and negative influences on their work, but oftentimes responsibility rolls up the hill to the king, and most radiologists do not want to step out of their warrior roles to take on other responsibilities, leaving practices without a leader.

In order to get your radiologists more involved with marketing efforts, Dr. Lord says the key is finding your radiologist magician however. Traditionally introverted, radiologists love regiments and they need to be untrained from the clinical paradigm they’ve adopted in order to step outside of their comfort zone. In a group of radiologists, a magician can usually be found and if they are open to working with your marketing team, it can make all the difference in the world.

The key to getting started is setting up an opportunity for your radiologist to engage in a conversation with a referring physician where they will walk away feeling positive. After having a few encounters that go well, it will be less heartbreaking when they go on more challenging meetings.  It would be beneficial to set up a lunch with a clinical topic in mind to discuss for more introverted radiologists, but as long as the referring physician is engaging, a feeling of positivity can be fostered. We can compare this to someone learning to cook. If all you’ve ever made is grilled cheese, you would not delve into your first cooking adventure aiming to perfect soufflés or prepare a full Thanksgiving meal. You would start with the basics: baked chicken, some steamed veggies and pasta. The same can be said about easing radiologists into marketing efforts.

As healthcare marketing professionals, it is important to be able to read people, understand what their needs and motivators are, and to use that information to grow.  Figuring out what kind of radiologist you work with and finding your internal Magician could lead to exponential levels of success for your center.