Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Naming My Practice: ‘Westwood Psychiatry’

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on June 19, 2013

Should I re-name my practice? There is Beverly Hills Psychiatry which is a one-man shop. Old School, Dr. Vollmer over here, started practice when the standard was to use your name as the name of the practice, particularly since almost all psychiatrists were solo practitioners. Now, it seems there is a movement to have “wellness centers” or “behavioral health” centers where the name represents what  or where people are seeking and not the particular person doing the work. Once again, I feel stunned by this, perhaps subtle, change. Google might have something to do with this new “branding”. Someone seeking psychiatric care on the internet would  not know my name, but they would know the location they want to see someone and they know the issue that they want to explore further. As such, to optimize a google search, one could name the practice to get more electronic traffic. This, I understand. My concern, however, is that the naming of a practice means that the person, the professional, is less important than the location or the skill set. If I change my practice name from ‘Shirah Vollmer MD’ to “Westwood Psychiatry” I would worry that I am creating a distance between myself and my patients which is larger than I want. On the other hand, maybe if I become “Westwood Psychiatry” I would have an ego boost, of sorts. Maybe the name gives my work a certain grandiosity. Oh, so much to think about. Change is tough.

8 Responses to “Naming My Practice: ‘Westwood Psychiatry’”

  1. Jon said

    Should you name – I assume rename – your practice? That depends on what you want. The current name ‘Shirah Vollmer MD’ rings fine to my ears. It is who you are, and as such is simple and direct. However, “Westwood Psychiatry”, as you note would do well on google searches. So, are you wanting to increase your visibility? If so, the new proposed name works well. If you see no need to increase, now or in the short-term or mid-term future, then why make the change?

    • Yes, re-naming my practice is more accurate and hence I have edited my post. Thanks. It is not that I want a change, but rather I am being dreamy in my thinking and wondering how, if at all, a name change would impact my own view of my professional self, as well as other’s views about me. My impression from my younger colleagues is that, like with more concrete products, thinking of a name, is an important aspect of their professional launch. This has intrigued me, yet again, as to how my profession is changing so rapidly, in what feels like, my short time in the field.

  2. Ashana M said

    Westwood Psychiatry doesn’t seem to add any value, other than the location. And that would come up if Westwood is part of an address listed elsewhere on the page. So a name change could be beneficial if it said something about the kind of psychiatry you offer and it might be different (and better) than your competitors.

  3. Shelly said

    I am focusing more on the idea of a wellness center and think that would be a great idea. What about the Westwood Wellness Center, and bringing in consultants in diet, exercise, yoga, stress-reduction, etc…? You know, the things that psychiatrists always tell their patients that are important in their lives but their patients don’t know exactly how to do? You could expand a bit and offer groups that do this sort of thing, which would bring in alot of traffic as word of mouth spreads. Just an idea.

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