Physician advertising: some reasons for caution

South Med J. 1989 Dec;82(12):1538-44.


Physician advertising is a growing trend which, proponents contend, will bring needed reforms to health care. Among these reforms are better informed patients, reduction in the price of health care, improvement in the quality of care, and reduction in the incidence of malpractice litigation and the cost of malpractice insurance. I argue that physician advertising probably will not accomplish these goals. I also discuss problems with the intent, content, monitoring, and costs of advertising, along with how it may adversely affect the way physicians perceive one another.

MeSH terms

  • Advertising / economics
  • Advertising / standards
  • Advertising / trends*
  • Clinical Competence / standards
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Delivery of Health Care / economics
  • Economic Competition
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Fraud
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Malpractice
  • Marketing of Health Services / economics
  • Marketing of Health Services / standards
  • Marketing of Health Services / trends*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Physicians*
  • Quality of Health Care