Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 137–147 | Cite as

The physician and the marketing concept

  • James S. West
  • A. B. Blankenship


Most physicians use some marketing techniques (albeit, unintentional or unplanned) in the operation of their private medical practices. They use marketing to attract patients, but seem unaware of the necessity and potential value of satisfying customer needs beyond the provision of adequate medical care. Medical service is often characterized by impersonality, with patients treated as machines rather than humans. This situation is partially a reflection of a seller's market, with a shortage or absence of private medical services in many areas of the country. In addition, the apparent lack of consumer orientation is reinforced by policies of the American Medical Association that forbid most forms of self-promotion and by the minimum fee schedules suggested by local medical associations that effectively preclude price competition. Physicians do not seem to recognize the congruity between their own interests or objectives and the total satisfaction of consumers in the marketplace for medical care.


Marketing Medical Service Credit Policy Marketing Concept Total Satisfaction 
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Copyright information

© The Academy of Marketing Science 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • James S. West
    • 1
  • A. B. Blankenship
    • 1
  1. 1.Bowling Green State UniversityBowling GreenUSA

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