Ask The Opti-Gurus: What To Do When A Doctor Departs From The Practice


We had a question for our Opti-Gurus and Mark Hinton of GPN the Edge responded to the question of what to do when a doctor leaves. This could apply when you have any trusted staff member leave the practice with an established following leave the practice. Mark Hinton

‘We recently lost one of our doctors who has been with our business 3 years and was adored by our patients! ‘

‘We are losing a doctor-on good terms. Should we let the patients know beforehand? ‘

Mark Hinton’s  Response that he has had in similar situations:

We are proactive in situations such as this to mitigate patient pushback.  A request is made that the departing doctor writes a heartwarming article to our family of patients about their “bittersweet” departure.

Key points included in the “letter”:

  • Their desire to move away to a new location, focus their attention in large format continuing education and research.
  • An expression of how much they loved the practice and the culture and their patients.
  • The doctor thanks the senior doctor /owner for his confidence and expresses they would trust any of the doctors within the practice with their OWN eye healthcare AND encourage patients to establish relationship with any of the doctors within the practice because they SHARE patient care together and cover for each other when any doctor may be out of the office for any reasons
  • A statement that expresses the entire team culture is knowledgeable, educated, kind, and it has been a blessing to the team with high-achieving like-minded individuals

This letter is posted on social media, emailed to patients and snail mailed to HER patients in the data base.

When a patient calls to reserve with the departing doctor the team member says: “ 

Cathy, we are saddened to let you know that Dr. eYeWize is not with the practice anymore; but we are happy for her and she has entrusted her patients to both Dr. Jones and Dr. Smyth because she knows they will receive the same level of kindness and expertise. Her patients have been thrilled and of course, are comfortable because we’re still the same  fabulous office of experts; I’ll be happy to schedule for your convenience with Dr. Smyth and I assure you, you will love her too! Would you still prefer your morning appointment time?”

We keep it all positive, matter-of-fact, and familiar!

It’s always wise to express to new patients that for the effective and efficient care and treatment of ALL patients: “Cathy our doctor team “Shares the Care” of all patients, so don’t feel confused at all if you come for your appointment and you get the advantage of working with another doctor in the practice; patients love this, as it’s like having multiple expert doctors focused on your very best care!”

Kala Mid Page