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March 20, 1987

To Market, to Market...

JAMA. 1987;257(11):1524. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390110100038

We read daily about the physician glut. Physicians are warned that if we don't market our medical services to our current and potential patients, we will lose them to more aggressive physicians, HMOs, hospitals, chiropractors, and other competitors hot on our heels. Those of us in private practice who provide personal services to the patients we know so well are told that we must join large group practices in order to share the necessary marketing costs. If we believe all this, it will be so. However, I would offer another warning: Beware of the marketing glut.

Marketers are marketing their marketing. We are the collective victims of the growing ranks of business school graduates who are in search of fertile grounds for new consulting opportunities. Now, it appears, they are fertilizing our ground.

Their advice, though expensive, is almost always transparent. Sadly, some of our colleagues may need to be