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Step 2: Outreach at Meetings and Events

Ideas for Outreach to Physicians | Dealing with Resistance

Ideas for Outreach to Physicians

  • Set up a breakfast or lunch meeting with a group of physicians
  • Plan a meeting during new residents' orientation. You can also use this meeting to introduce new residents to your library's staff and the various services and resources.
  • Participate in weekly departmental meetings to introduce Information Rx. This is the perfect opportunity to offer an extended introduction to your library or offer one-on-one training sessions, and to offer MedlinePlus classes.
  • Contact physicians office managers and request a meeting with the staff to introduce Information Rx. Be sure to let them know you are not selling anything and the program is entirely free.
  • Create a bulletin board or poster for in-house health fairs or other events at the hospital. Note: Make sure to have enough Information Rx materials on hand.
  • Exhibit at or create a poster about Information Rx and MedlinePlus for state or regional association meetings. The ACP has Chapter/Regional Meetings that are ideal locations to exhibit. For a list of these meetings, visit

Plan to:

  • Inform physicians about the Information Rx project and receive their commitment to participate. Send physicians sample Information Rx materials;
  • Demonstrate the unique strengths and special features of MedlinePlus;
  • Answer questions about the project - especially how librarians can help physicians and patients (e.g., training, computer/Internet access, use of the program);
  • Offer to host additional exhibitions and training opportunities at area hospitals, communities or large group settings where physcian members practice;
  • Generate leads for follow-up outreach by the librarian with local physicians and institutions.

Dealing with Resistance

Some of the responses we routinely receive from physicians as well as suggested counterpoints include:

"My patients are too old to deal with computers."

Your Response: Sometimes their children and grandchildren will look up the information for them.

"My patients don't have computers."

Public libraries (and often hospital libraries) are good places for patients to obtain access to MedlinePlus. Detail a local hospital library's patient education initiatives if you are aware of them.

"I don't have time to add another thing to my brief time with patients."

Referring patients to MedlinePlus provides a valuable patient education tool that often saves time. Patients rarely remember everything they are told and MedlinePlus provides a way to learn more within a less emotional environment. Participating ACP members also report they save time by focusing discussions on what patients read on MedlinePlus rather than trying to counteract an unreliable health web source.

"I don't want to carry around another Rx pad."

The InfoRx business cards are smaller and can be used instead of the prescription pads.

"I know about the project but keep forgetting to write a referral."

An office receptionist or nurse can attach an Info Rx to every chart as a reminder.

"I don't have time to explain MedlinePlus to them."

Include the bookmark with a prescription.

"My patients don't have the cognitive ability to read large amounts of information."

Point out the tutorials and low literacy pages.

"It's too simplified for my patients, or my patients want the latest research."

Point out the link to the pre-formulated PubMed searches.

"It's too complicated for patients."

Point out MedlinePlus' interactive tutorials.

See also comments in the press release -

Now you are ready to move on to Step #3: Training