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Marketing Your Practice: What Patients Read in the Waiting Room

by Lee Ann Brady, on 9/1/16 1:53 PM


We’ve all sat in a doctor’s office waiting room, our legs shaking with nerves or boredom. The experience can be (at best) pleasant, or at worst, a dreary period of time during which our name is never called and all we can do is scroll aimlessly through our Facebook feed.

I’m going to make the assumption that you’ve put considerable thought into your waiting room and have already taken steps to make it comfortable and lively. In this blog, I’ll go into clever ways you can improve the waiting room experience.  

Information v. Distraction

There are ways to get creative and provide value while patients are whiling away minutes of their lives. Change your outlook. Consider how you can inform and interest rather than (at best) distract them.

Are the magazines you keep in the office current? This is the 21st century, and many of your patients already have access to the latest news and informative articles on their iPhones.

If there is reading material in the waiting room, at least make sure you have a system for someone to make sure old issues are pulled and new ones put out. To a patient, outdated magazines give the impression that no one is paying attention to the smaller details of the office.

Do you have any practice-specific reading material? Instead of relying solely on People magazine, create something that patients can browse to get to know your dental prowess. You can create photo books easily on website such as blurb.com and use attractive patient photography to show before and after pictures of beautiful smiles.

Pro Tip: 

Avoid the sorts of photos dentists would find technically fascinating, but might make a patient queasy for their upcoming appointment. You can also use a similar scheme with a book that introduces the patient to you and your team. Include pictures, bios, and other interesting personal information.

Keep the patient’s mind on the prize (dental health and your practice) and you might just notice they seem more eager to understand their options during the appointment.


CMS Director of Education Dr. Lee Ann Brady lives in Phoenix, Arizona and owns Desert Sun Smiles Dental Care, a private restorative practice in Glendale, Arizona. Outside of her private practice, Dr. Brady teaches, presents at meetings internationally, and writes a clinical dental education blog on her website at www.leeannbrady.com.

To learn more about Clinical Mastery’s approach to improving the quality and quantity of restorative and cosmetic dental cases, go to our website at www.clinicalmastery.com.


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