Practice Development for Medical Expert Witnesses
Beryl Vaughan, Consultant
Nationwide

Email go@forensicexpertpro.com or Call (415) 302-9589

17 years

Consulting with Medical Expert Witnesses, Forensic Psychiatrists, Psychologists and Physician specialists to build and enhance their reputable and successful medical-legal practice.

20 years

Lawyer-whisperer, case-wrangling for top attorneys in boutique and white shoe law firms.

A reputation for integrity and objectivity is what you bring to the table.

Strategies underscore those values.

Each medical and psychology specialty, and each doctor, has distinct and nuanced services to offer attorneys and juries.

Communicating your rich expertise to attorneys is how we develop your practice.

We draw on proven strategies responsive to the behavior of the attorney who seeks you.

I draw on 17 years of experience in the field of medicolegal practice development, and more than 2 decades working closely with attorneys, to pull these threads together for my clients.

What You Need to Know

 Demand Outstrips Supply. Attorneys report there are more cases than qualified experts in most specialties. 
 It’s time-consuming and difficult to find doctors with medical and expert witness qualifications, credentials and experiencec.
 Experts are difficult to find when they must also be at ease in a medical-legal environment.

Getting in Front of Attorneys

Marketing is not a dirty word. 

However, it has to be approached in an ethical manner that enhances your reputation. 

If you feel “marketing” is taboo in an esteemed field, feel free to substitute the synonymous “practice development.”

It all means the same thing:

Positioning you where attorneys can find you, and communicating your professional credentials and the qualities that suit you to medicolegal work.

What is Practice Development, really?

An overarching strategy to weave marketing and best practices to enhance and increase the doctor’s visibility, reputation and services.

It bridges the navigation between attorney and doctor. 

“Marketing” is the active implementation of those strategies and include in-person, online and educational outreach.

 Once the doctor is “found,” solid marketing tools kick in to inform if the expert witness has the skill and background most relevant to the alleged facts of the case.

Comments:

1. “Expert” is a term of art, used interchangeably on this site with “Expert Witness” or “Medicolegal” consultant.

2. An attorney must provide their client with the best possible representation. This includes retaining a solidly qualified Expert in the appropriate discipline–if they know how to find that expert.

The first year Ms. Vaughan set a marketing plan, my forensic income quadrupled.  My practice continued to grow and thrive as a result of Ms. Vaughan’s expertise.

In addition, Ms. Vaughan assisted me with my forensic-relevant website. I recently searched in a private browser words involving psychiatry/ PTSD/ TBI expert witness and local cities and state. It is impossible to not see me. My website is mostly on the first or 2nd page.

Sanjay Adhia, M.D.

Board-Certified Forensic Psychiatrist and Brain Injury Medicine Expert Witness, Adhia & Associates

Ms. Vaughan tailored a marketing strategy to the needs of my clientele. Many potential clients were “pre-sold” on retaining me as a result of her techniques. My billable forensic hours increased more than 50%. She developed a highly successful website. Ms. Vaughan has unusually diverse skills and developed practice procedures which improved efficiency and results.

Stephen M. Raffle, M.D.

Board-Certified Forensic Psychiatrist, Stephen M. Raffle, M.D. & Associates

Beryl’s background in both law and the day-to-day of medical expert practice is a great asset.  It helps inform us on what marketing practices actually reach attorneys. She has helped grow my forensic practice each year. 

Pia Quimson-Guevarra, DO

Board-Certified Forensic Psychiatrist, Private Forensic Practice and Quimson Behavioral Health

I would highly recommend Beryl’s services for people starting their own forensic psychiatry practices who need someone to explain how to set up a new practice, how to run it, and how to network.

Beryl helped me with optimizing my online profile in ways that were easy to understand and implement despite my initial lack of knowledge at the time, as the methods for doing so are somewhat opaque when first starting out in the profession.

Kerry Mendes, MD

Board-Certified Forensic Psychiatrist and Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

frustrated lawyer

What Attorneys Say About Doctors

About 90% of attorneys tell me they often retain the first doctor who answers their call.

They get tired of calling doctor after doctor, leaving voicemails and ultimately letting frustration–not a wise, considered choice–drive expert witness selection.

Solve the dilemma for them so they can do the best job for their own clients.

 

Frustrated Doctor with marketing

What Doctors Say

Marketing decisions are not intuitive. There’s no roadmap and they don’t teach it in school or even Fellowship.

Fielding attorney calls is tiring and time-consuming yet a silent phone is stressful.

Just like attorneys, doctors find the process to be an emotional drain.

 

Announcements

Physician’s Guide to Doctoring

hosted by Dr. Bradley Block, MD

I was interviewed by Dr. Block about the right way to promote a medical expert witness practice.

  • “Advertising” vs. “practice development”
  • Building a reputation
  • The role of and best ethical features of a med-legal website
  • Dedicated clinical site vs. forensic site; Google SEO
  • Navigating the social media minefield, and more

Physician’s Guide to Doctoring is “a personal and professional development podcast for physicians. Dr. Bradley Block interviews experts who can teach us everything we should have been learning while we were memorizing Kreb’s Cycle.”  Physician’s Guide to Doctoring, YouTube Channel

woman owned business

Certified Woman-Owned Business

I am proud to Announce the WBENC has Certified my woman-owned business after a rigorous vetting process.

Announcements

Physician’s Guide to Doctoring” hosted by Dr. Bradley Block, MD

I was interviewed by Dr. Block about the right way to promote a medical expert witness practice.

  • “Advertising” vs. “practice development”
  • Building a reputation
  • The role of and best ethical features of a med-legal website
  • Dedicated clinical site vs. forensic site; Google SEO
  • Navigating the social media minefield, and more

Physician’s Guide to Doctoring is “a personal and professional development podcast for physicians. Dr. Bradley Block interviews experts who can teach us everything we should have been learning while we were memorizing Kreb’s Cycle.”  Physician’s Guide to Doctoring, YouTube Channel

woman owned business

Certified Woman-Owned Business

I am proud to Announce the WBENC has Certified my woman-owned business after a rigorous vetting process.

How Does This Work?

path to grow medical expert

Informal Call

Discuss your practice and goals, and my services. This is a 30 minute free consultation.

Ready to proceed?

Once you’ve retained me, we schedule a structured interview.

Structured Interview.

Goal: tell me about your current practice and what drives you: in-depth.

Before we talk, I will look at your CV and research your footprint online as viewed by attorneys.

Which cases do you like?
What is your experience with med-legal/psychlegal cases so far? What is fun? What is not so fun?
Which cases might you like? I could open your eyes to cases on-point for your expertise.
Gratifying features of your clinical practice. What’s frustrating? That helps put forensic practice in perspective.
Comfort level with writing reports or testimony, reviewing records, casual attorney consultations, providing non-disclosed expert consultation
Strengths. In talking with you, I get a feel for your communication style, and your strengths. This rolls into the plan of action for our next steps.

Our plan showcases those strengths, and helps you build up what’s uncomfortable.

Balance. Forensic work can complement clinical work while providing more flexibility. What’s important to you? Engaging cases? Time with your family? Income?fdd
Setting an appropriate fee. What are you currently charging?
What are your long-term goals?

Strategy and options start with you as a person.

Recommendations and a game plan follow.

Even if you’ve been doing this awhile or are just starting out, acquiring cases has a marketing starting point. Complementary article Learn about a long-term game plan.

Constructing a Strategy

Synthesizing all that I have learned from you, I develop a plan of action to that suits your goals.

Actionable steps
Budget and timeline
Establish benchmarks to assess data and results

More to learn, on this site.

Beryl Vaughan, Marketing Consultant
Bio

Before I went out on my own as a consultant, I was mentored in Forensic Psychiatry by a highly regarded Forensic Psychiatrist and UCSF Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry.

I’m not a physician. Luckily, he was a good teacher.

I then mentored him in marketing and running a more profitable business.

We built a powerhouse practice that honored the guiding principles of ethical and legally sound forensic medicine.

Cases doubled in just a few years.  Exhilarating stuff.

I wanted to apply this experience to a variety of practices and doctors. Diverse needs and practices are engaging and that was the driver of my decision to go into business for myself.

Marketing the serious medicolegal practice is where I thrive. That enthusiasm and skill are how I help my clients succeed.

Where did I learn how attorneys think? I have worked with respected, high-profile attorneys and their high-profile clients in areas of law where you might be practicing.

Litigation, probate and estate planning, personal injury, and most areas of law where experts have a role.

Insight into your attorney-clients is the foundation of getting results for my medicolegal-clients.

Sidebar: Liberal Arts Are a Thing of Beauty. There’s no marketing without the tools of the trade: critical thinking and study of human behavior. Many decades ago I pursued 2 Degrees in the study of how people think, act, and why. Read more

CORE VALUES

Core Values: The Highest Ethical and Professional Standards

Ethical Marketing

I place the highest priority on ethical, legal, and best professional practices. That means truth and transparency from you to attorneys and between you and me.

Why?

Because you must be able to defend every facet of your practice and reputation, among peers and on the stand.

Educating What You Know is the Answer

That’s why I emphasize to my clients that their role is to educate attorneys and triers of fact. The heart of expert witness work is speaking to your strongest expertise and qualifications. This is what attorneys seek and juries need.  All marketing derives from that.

Marketing Isn’t a Dirty Word

To develop your practice ethically, it’s essential to understand preconceptions and misconceptions about “Advertising,” “Marketing,” and “Practice Development.” They are synonyms.

They all mean the same thing: attorneys can find you. Once they call about a case, you have the tools you need to determine if you are the right expert for the job.

 

[1] Forensic Psychiatry is the only medical Board-Certification requiring education with direct application to law.  Fewer than 4% of all Board-Certified Psychiatrists are Board-Certified in Forensic Psychiatry (about 2000 doctors)  and there are fewer than 390 ABPP Board-Certified Forensic Psychologists. There is no measurement about expert witnesses in other areas of medicine.
[2] CLE is the legal practice version of CME. CLE units are required to maintain a license to practice law.
[3] Brian K. Cooke, Emily R. Goddard, Tonia L. Werner, Erinn O. Cooke, Ezra E. H. Griffith, “The Risks and Responsible Roles for Psychiatrists Who Interact with the Media. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online Dec 2014, 42 (4) 459-468. 

I am dedicated to the advancement of professional research, and refinement of standards and guidelines in Forensic Psychiatry. I am a proud contributor to the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law’s AIER (Institute for Education and Research). 

More Ideas That Work…

Collaboration doubles your resources.

Connect with Attorneys in Real Life

I will teach you how to make personal contact to build real-life relationships with attorneys.

A meeting, a call, personal snail mail and emails (not mailings), seminars, and attending mutually interesting events.

Connection is marketing.  I guide you through concrete methods to introduce yourself to attorneys and build a referral base.

The most powerful relationships in life are human-to-human.

CV outdated

Online and Offline CV

A CV for medical-legal work is quite different from a CV in an academic or clinical setting, or simply to get a job.

I have reorganized many CVs for medical-legal practice purposes. A med-legal dedicated CV is a tool we can’t ignore.

Nuts and Bolts of Writing a Med-Legal CV: read more about the right way to layout a CV so attorneys are less frustrated and find what is most important first.  Read more about the Med-Legal CV. 

The “About” Page. The CV you add to a website usually appears on an “About” page and is abbreviated in a bio that might be on the Home page.

What’s found there mirrors your CV because it establishes credentials and is admissible on the stand. On a website, concepts and categories (“Education,” “Experience,” etc.) can be organized through the use of color and layout so it is visually engaging. One of the perks of a website, by the way. Read more about the “digital CV” as it appears on your website.

CV outdated

Online and Offline CV

A CV for medical-legal work is quite different from a CV in an academic or clinical setting, or simply to get a job.

I have reorganized many CVs for medical-legal practice purposes. A med-legal dedicated CV is a tool we can’t ignore.

Nuts and Bolts of Writing a Med-Legal CV: read more about the right way to layout a CV so attorneys are less frustrated and find what is most important first.  Read more about the Med-Legal CV. 

The “About” Page. The CV you add to a website usually appears on an “About” page and is abbreviated in a bio that might be on the Home page.

What’s found there mirrors your CV because it establishes credentials and is admissible on the stand. On a website, concepts and categories (“Education,” “Experience,” etc.) can be organized through the use of color and layout so it is visually engaging. One of the perks of a website, by the way.

cost forensic medical-legal practice psychiatry psychology charges fees

Business Consulting Services: Best-Practices for a Better Bottom Line

There is a right way and a wrong way to approach retention, billing, timekeeping, document management, even administrative communication. I’ve worked with dozens and dozens of doctors to create the foundation for business operations.

How you run your business respects your reputation, as it does an attorney’s budget and the demands of teir own clients. Good business practices also make your life easier. I work with attorneys you may need and other consultants in adjacent fields to help my clients when they need services outside my qualifications.

cost forensic medical-legal practice psychiatry psychology charges fees

Business Consulting Services: Best-Practices for a Better Bottom Line

There is a right way and a wrong way to approach retention, billing, timekeeping, document management, even administrative communication. I’ve worked with dozens and dozens of doctors to create the foundation for business operations.

How you run your business respects your reputation, as it does an attorney’s budget and the demands of teir own clients. Good business practices also make your life easier. I work with attorneys you may need and other consultants in adjacent fields to help my clients when they need services outside my qualifications.

cost forensic medical-legal practice psychiatry psychology charges fees

Budget

What’s this going to cost?

Once we’ve had the structured interview can help with an estimate based on a specific plan.

I won’t make a recommendation that I don’t think will benefit you.

I am knowledgeable about the costs associated with my recommendations, to help you determine a wise application of your budget.

Ultimately, cost is directed at the best return on your investment.

Tip: the most expensive options are not always the most effective. Free resources can be powerful sources of cases.

cost forensic medical-legal practice psychiatry psychology charges fees

Budget

What’s this going to cost?

Once we’ve had the structured interview can help with an estimate based on a specific plan.

I won’t make a recommendation that I don’t think will benefit you.

I am knowledgeable about the costs associated with my recommendations, to help you determine a wise application of your budget.

Ultimately, cost is directed at the best return on your investment.

Tip: the most expensive options are not always the most effective. Free resources can be powerful sources of cases.