I suspect we've all seen those TV ads for lawyers (at least in the U.S.). They're all over the tube.
"Hello, I'm John Smith of Smith, Smith, Smith & Smith. Been injured? We'll work to get you the compensation you deserve! Call our firm today for a free consultation!"
"Been in an accident? Don't fight the insurance companies alone! Call Jones & Jones and let us work for you!"
Well, apparently video ads along the same lines now exist for doctors as well. Personally, I haven't seen on TV all that many for doctors, as I have for lawyers, but perhaps that may change.
And there appear to be companies out there that are in the business of creating short video advertisements for doctors for a fee, videos that the docs can then use to promote themselves and, as they would doubtless hope, bring in new patients..
For example, one such company that I came across, an interesting one at that, calls itself Green Gorilla Videos:www.greengorillavideo.com
Despite its odd name, I looked at the site and saw that it seems to be well organized, is visually attractive, and, especially of interest, it offers samples of short video ads for doctors and dentists that it has produced. As if speaking to prospective medical practitioner customers, "Hey, doctor, this is what we can do for you! Think of all the new patients it may get for you!"
From this site:"We produce videos for doctors who rely on the web for new patients. Doctor videos are a powerful marketing tool that convey both information and emotion. They help new patients in the doctor selection process to meet you before they ever meet you."
The sample video ads on that site that I looked at seemed tastefully and responsibly done, with the doctor in the video introducing him(or her)self, and describing services offered, in a friendly, let's-get-acquainted style. Click on the link above, go to the site and look at some of the doctor-self-advertising-videos for yourself.
But then the question arose in my mind. How much should this kind of video self-advertising influence a patient's choosing a doctor? Yes, such a video reveals the doctor's personality, and perhaps offers some clue to many who view it as to whether this doctor is one they would like to visit, based on what they see of the doctor's personality. But of course personality is only one part of what goes into choosing a doctor. But the video will also likely describe services that the doctor offers, so there may be value in that.
And where should such video ads be used? On a doctor's website would seem reasonable, or possibly on Facebook and the like, but would (should) it go further than that? Can we eventually expect pop-up video ads for prostate surgeons to suddenly flash on our screens, as soon as we do a search for "prostatectomy?" (Seems to me this is happening already to a degree with sidebar ads, but not so much yet with actual videos?).
Just a few decades ago, doctors and lawyers weren't permitted to advertise their services, as it was considered "unprofessional." All that changed when some lawyers argued, successfully (Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U.S. 350, 1977), that not being permitted to do so was a violation of their First Amendment rights. Since then, lawyer ads have become pretty common, as noted above.
So what do you think? Assuming doctors are going to continue to have the legal right to do video ads of themselves, as do lawyers, should there be rules for their doing this? And how common may it become? Perhaps a need for AMA rules regulating video appearance and content? (A quick search found nothing specific to videos, although there are of course AMA general ethical rules regarding advertising).
There could be a real gray area here in terms of video content and practice, as issues specific to video may come up. It may take time for it to sort itself out.
But getting back to the original thread question, how much, and how, would you be influenced by a doctor's self-advertising video, if at all?
Chronic prostatitis (age 60 on)
BPH w/ urinary obstruction, 6/2011
Ongoing high PSA, 7/2011-12/2011
Biopsy, 12/2011: positive 3/12 (90%, 70%, 5%)
Gleason 6(3+3), T1c
No mets, PCa likely still organ contained
IMRT w/ HT (Lupron), 4/2012-6/2012
PSAs (since post-IMRT): 0.1 or lower