How Do I Become a Celebrity Doctor?

Turn on the television on any given day, and you will see any number of celebrity doctors; physicians, psychiatrists and other medical professionals who offer expert advice on talk shows, at national and regional seminars, in books, sometimes even on their own TV programs.

Dr. Phil McGraw, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Dr. Ruth Westheimer; these doctors and others are recognized as household names and international celebrities, raking in both millions and dollars and the respect of the nation. Their programs fill the airwaves of radio and television, their informational texts line the shelves of book and retail stores; sometimes they're even featured players on sitcoms and in major motion pictures.

Just how does one become a celebrity physician? Sadly, no reputable medical school offers 'celeb doc' degrees; and few medical journals publish articles about how to attain the rank of a nationally recognized healthcare professional. For that matter, no one can guarantee that any given professional—be he/she a doctor, writer, actor, or executive—will become a celebrity. Yet you can take certain steps toward becoming a prominent, well-recognized member of your chosen field.

The key to becoming a celebrity doctor, resident health expert, etc., is to analyze and evaluate the skills you have beyond the realm of care giving. Are you a good writer? Author a book based on your knowledge and experiences, and shop it around to major publishers. Or pen articles for medical journals and newsletters. Are you a polished speaker? Offer your oratory services everywhere from senior centers (where they frequently employ speakers to deliver informative programs to older people) to schools (where they often ask professionals of various disciplines to speak to kids about various career options). As you establish yourself as a personable and reliable public speaker, your speaking fees and public profile will raise exponentially. Indeed, some doctors command more than $1,000 for each speaking engagement.

Do you love the camera? Volunteer to be a medical expert on a local TV show, or get your own public access advice show. Your popularity may grow to the point that people will pay you to appear on these programs; you may even end up with a show of your own, perhaps on a cable network. Or you may record instructional DVDs regarding various healthcare issues.

You may even wish to check out the legal field, as judges and attorneys sometimes seek medical professionals to offer expert testimony in court; especially in cases that involve forensics, injuries and accidents, malpractice suits, etc. Your testimony could make a real difference in a case, as well as raise your visibility and enhance your reputation as a competent medical expert.

The primary objective of every physician should be the nurturing, competent care of his/her patients; not the constant pursuit of the spotlight. Yet a doctor can enhance his/her practice with some prime opportunities in the media field. Grab your chance at the local or perhaps even national spotlight; and don't forget to smile for the camera!

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