Few now debate U.S. healthcare's need of innovative models, new systems and true coordination of care.     As our segmented approach has generated institutional dysfunctional and a lack of patient wellness, large multi-specialty corporate "practices" emerge in medicine, dentistry, senior care and all manner of niches where the patient/clinician relationship continues to be compromised.   Specialized care with collaboration almost exclusively occurring in large entities that only refer within their organizations.  This leaves the discriminating patient floundering as well as unable to find comprehensive care, unless their condition is critical enough to require hospitalization. 

Conscious clinicians yearn for connection as well as exchange of information and cross referral relationships.   Interdisciplinary collaboration begins locally with clinicians committed to innovative, sustainable methods, techniques and each other.     As practitioners embrace a learning cooperative model of learning and community, integrative and functional care occurs.  The division of the human body into separately treatable parts occurs less,  those with multiple issues are served.  Independent clinicians work hard to provide the best possible care for their patients, who seek preventative as well as individualized, comprehensive care.   Many medical and health professionals are aware of the need for collaborative care to address patient’s needs systemically, but our care delivery system and their efforts are discouraged.  Caring entails coordinated activities to connect patients with themselves. This might include a learning retreat or a class or a joint appointment.

Fragmentation to Collaboration:

Our strategy of local interdisciplinary collaborative dinner groups, without sponsors or outside speakers, support a broad-spectrum of disciplines, enabling each to establish cross-referral relationships, generating comprehensive abate safer overall patient care.  This interdisciplinary approach provides inspiration and most important, a blue print for private coordination of care.Professional referral, a perennial method of collaboration, has worked well for generations.   Metro Collaborative embodies a word-of-mouth, personal and individualized approach to health care.   This is not the case with commodities like cars, gold, cloths, hotels, restaurants or technology because our bodies are personal, and how we care for our bodies is a personal matter.   In developing interdisciplinary collaborative dinner groups we began conversations with clinicians in dentistry medicine, mental health as well as alternative, integrative and senior care as well as law and finance selectively.  We began our meetings in two high quality health care hubs: Greater New York City and Washington, DC.   The reward has been the development of appropriate and successful patient referrals between all involved as they create strategic alliances inside and outside our meetings as we focus on science, innovation as well as practicality and functionality, generating patient referrals based on mutual trust and understanding often within the context of conversations in our relaxed dinner setting.  


Effective methods of effective referrals are individualized and can limit the costs as well as clinician and small teams become efficient.  This all led to a consensus valuing time and experience as the most important qualities for long-term success. Building through referrals is very different. A real connection exists between the patient’s needs, concerns and the unique expertise of what you do. That is why we recommend dedication to a referring colleague’s satisfaction as well as a patient or client’s satisfaction for mutual, quality, loyal patients, organically matched with genuine skill.   Perhaps the best marketing advantage develops when a professional is experienced as being so unique that his or her patients or clients are naturally motivated to recommend the professional to others.  Being talked about as unique comes from articulation. Advertising and almost all marketing brings unqualified and uninformed patients. Great clinical skills and empathy, because compassionate, empathetic care provides the emotional connection in patients and clients that begins the process of healing. As human beings are relational, healing best occurs within the context of caring relationships.  Caring about patients and clients reduces their stress, so it enables them to experience professional expertise more receptively.

Internal and External Marketing: 

A ground game; such as hosting open houses and creating newsletters and blogs.  Such broad yet thorough means of communication enable your team, students, associates and especially your patient/clients to become increasingly aware of your knowledge and ongoing development of expertise as well as your services and skills. These forms of “marketing” not only communicate, but they develop a dependable relationship between the professional and the client or patient.   Unfortunately many practitioners look first to slick branding or marketing campaigns to develop an image, spending more than the campaigns are actually worth, because developing an image can initially draw interest, but only the development of a reputation for reliable care can provide a trustworthy source of referrals.  

Some practices spend an inappropriate percentage of gross income on services geared to get phone calls. Though important, social media branding has become an obsession for many professional practices in order to create blanket exposure.  These calls and social media “blasts” often generate initial visits for ill-fitted individuals who then go to Yahoo, Yelp or Google to vent their frustrations, because their expectations were not met or sometimes because of broad appeal to the masses, the practice becomes contorted trying to please everyone, which may actually work against long-term success.   Metro Collaborative refers others and does not leave longing for relationship and dialogue but feel genuinely cared for.  They create rave reviews and do not leave, foraging for quality care elsewhere.  

In addition, the practices that do focus strictly on media marketing often stay relatively insulated and isolated from quality relationships and get stuck in a never-ending need to do more and more of this type of marketing.  Focusing their limited time on marketing has sometimes led to a failure to expand their understanding of newer or alternative treatments which would also improve their overall success and thereby increase client loyalty.

To complicate things, the information chasms between disciplines within mental health, geriatrics, medicine and dentistry leave either the clinician and/or the patient wanting only to deal with what must be done in the moment, while ignoring the optimal, long-term, preventative, and holistic approach.  A practitioner’s inability to lead the patient confidently to multiple areas of treatment in order to attain comprehensive care, ultimately leads to further dissatisfaction, as patients remain unwell or feel isolated and alone in trying to solve their needs for both treatment and well-being.  Leaders build on solid ground. Only comprehensive care provides that solid ground for both patient and professional. Comprehensive health care requires negotiating relationships of care. Facilitating relationships is an art.   It is often said:  “You can get what you want, if you help others get what they want.” 

Guiding principles:

·      Share well, so others truly understand you and your service, honestly.

·      Understand what your colleagues might offer your clients with clarity

·      Enjoy your peers in a relaxed, stimulating and inspiring environment, regularly

·      Encourage your colleagues to entrust their clients/patients with you with high level care and team work

·      Share and listen what is most important to your peers and give feedback

·      Refer your treasured patients to those you know and trust and follow up.

Confucius said, “Tell me and I will forget.  Show me and I will remember.  Involve me and I will understand.”  As interdisciplinary collaboratives, we can clarify clinical and business methods, examine specialized health care issues and also have a good time. By better understanding each other’s clinical expertise, we can create functional partnerships, sharing costs of marketing; sharing office space, teams or support staff.   

Listening creates a bond and a deeper understanding; from this foundational relationship, strategic partnerships emerge.  Then, ideas become refined, friendships grow; clinical and other partnerships happen.  As Metro Collaborative contributes to the prosperity and growth of others, we reciprocally grow and prosper. 

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that’s the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, rising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has geniuses, power and magic in it.  Begin it now.”        


Highest Regards,



Bill Dennis


Metro Collaborative