Writing A Great Biography
We always ask our clients to include biography pages on their websites. While these pages may seem inconsequential when compared to service and contact pages, many patients do read doctor bios before making their first appointment at a dental practice. If the services you offer are the same as other practices in your area, your biography gives you the opportunity to differentiate yourself.
What Do Patients Look for in a Dentist’s Biography?
There are two key components that should be included in a good biography: your professional accomplishments and your personal story. The former will help patients decide if you have the qualifications they’re looking for in a dentist, while the latter helps them connect with you on a more personal level.
Your biography shouldn’t read like a resume; think of it more like an introduction you might give to someone when you meet them for the first time. We’ve seen some doctors simply list their alma matters and professional memberships in lieu of writing a biography, which might satisfy one of the criteria for a good bio, but it certainly doesn’t foster any kind of personal connection.
Here’s the minimum of what you should include in your biography:
- Your education and residencies
- Any notable continuing education
- Leadership positions
- Awards and recognitions
- Professional association memberships
- Teaching positions
- Volunteer work
- What made you decide to become a dentist
- Community connections
- Family life
When it comes to sharing personal information, there’s certainly no need to go into more detail than you feel comfortable with, but patients like to know a little bit about who their dentists are as people. It’s not so much what you say about yourself, but the fact that you share a little bit of who you are. No one will read your bio and say, “Well, Dr. Smith loves playing soccer and I do too, so I’m going to choose his practice!”, but getting to know you as a person creates a more comfortable, familiar relationship with patients.
Writing the Perfect Biography
Now that you know what you should include in your biography, let’s talk about how to write it. Here’s a brief template to use if you’re not much of a writer:
Hi, I’m Dr. Mary Brown. I grew up in ___________(city, town) and attended college at ___________________. From there, I went on to dental school at ___________, completing my degree in ________________(year). After that I trained at ___________ for ________ years in the residency program. (Or I worked as an associate at _____ for _____ years). In _________(year) I relocated to _______________ with my husband/wife. We have _____ kids and enjoy… (lists some hobbies and interests).
For the 2nd paragraph, list what makes you passionate about your profession. If you work in a multiple doctor practice it’s best if these don’t all sound the same. Perhaps you love technology and how it benefits your patients. Maybe you have a passion for continuing education and the benefits it brings your patients. What are your goals for the patient experience? Try to speak from the heart with a few sentences on what you enjoy about what you do and how that passion impacts your patients. Be specific—every dentist says that they’re gentle, that they listen to their patients, that they provide exceptional care. How do you do that?
If you decide to write your own biography from scratch, spend some time thinking about the tone you’d like to take. Most doctors play it safe and strike a balance between friendly and professional, but if you have a highly specialized practice, you may want to skew towards formal; if you’re known for your sense of humor, your bio is the best place on your website to inject some levity.
The Bottom Line
Writing a solid biography doesn’t need to take more than 15 to 20 minutes and that time investment will pay dividends. Getting your patients to connect with who you are as a person is our primary goal. A great biography combined with an excellent photograph helps patients see who you are as a person so they can feel comfortable picking up the phone to make an appointment.