8 Ways Physicians Can Become Thought Leaders

Lauren McGill
3 min readFeb 1, 2021


How can physicians become better known as an expert in their field? Here are 8 recommendations to stand out from the crowd — all of them are based on my experience working with top-of-their-game physicians.

Find your niche.

Start by narrowing your scope down to one or two areas where you can make your greatest contribution. Spreading your efforts across many subjects will dilute your progress, while a niche focus will make you stand out sooner and make your content more valuable.

Contribute articles to industry publications.

Contributing to industry blogs, newsletters, and reports can give you incredible exposure. Find the editor’s contact information on the outlet’s website and send in your pitch or finished piece according to their submission guidelines. Follow your instincts and keep it concise.


Gone are the days of waiting for someone else to publish your content. Self-publishing articles on websites like Medium.com and LinkedIn get your message out into the world instantly. It’s not uncommon for bigger media outlets to find your work and ask to re-publish it in their publications to reach a wider audience. Write it and they will come.

Speak at conferences.

Amplify your voice within your chosen niche through public speaking. Attendees typically come from a wide area to attend — it’s a great way to get in front of potential collaborators, investors, partners, and others. Since the onset of the pandemic, more of these events are held virtually, allowing for maximum impact with minimal time, expense, and travel.

Sit on a webinar panel.

Build your credibility as a thought leader by weighing in as a panel participant. Webinars are an excellent substitution for some conferences and are often hosted by industry publications and corporate sponsors. Panels offer thoughtful discussion and a chance to demonstrate your expertise.

Be a guest on podcasts.

Research podcasts that overlap with your chosen niche. Reach out to their executive producers and offer to be a future guest. Podcasts allow meaningful conversations about your chosen niche which can captivate your audience and further cement you as an industry expert.

Get social.

Physicians create a tremendous presence on social media by picking one or two channels and consistently commenting, sharing content, and engaging with their connections and audience. Your goals dictate which channels are worth investing time in — each channel reaches a different kind of audience.

Be an expert source.

Establish yourself as a recognizable subject matter export by becoming an expert source for writers, journalists, and other reputable content creators. As an expert source, your insights and quotes will be used in local or national newspapers, magazines, and online articles.

Be consistent.

This is where the rubber hits the road. If you want people to look to you as an expert thought leader, you must put out content regularly that is both informative and interesting. Establish an achievable goal ofhow often you wish to publish or participate in various events and try to stick to that cadence.

Do you feel overwhelmed by all the time and effort involved? After all, you’re already running a busy practice. You have a personal life and family responsibilities. How can you possibly balance it all? Enlist help. Don’t do it alone.

While some tactics outlined above require your presence (hello, conference podium!), others can actually be outsourced. Find a competent writer that you like and trust. Instead of writing, re-writing, and editing articles, allow them to interview you, extract your main ideas, and create drafts for you to review. This will leapfrog you much farther into the process. The longer you work together, the more they’ll adopt your tone of voice. Over time, with your guidance, they’ll be able to take on more responsibility and shoulder more of the work.

An experienced writer also assists you with speeches, podcast prep, social media posts, and anything else involved in thought leadership. Hiring a writer in this way — often referred to as a ghostwriter — ensures you have incredible content to put out on a regular basis without the stress of producing it all yourself. But what exactly does a ghostwriter do? What are the most effective ways to work work with a ghostwriter? My next article will answer that question and more.

Want to know more? Check out: “5 Reasons Physicians Should Become Thought Leaders”.

*With gratitude to Sierra Jensen for her contributions to this article.



Lauren McGill

I work at the intersection of healthcare and storytelling. As a medical writer, I help healthcare experts publish content so they stand out as thought leaders.