We've always known that no hospital or other doctors would be tripping all over themselves to refer to us once we started our practice, but we never realized how difficult it would be just to make people know that we exist.
Enter my mother, who got hold of my box of business cards and started handing them out like a mad woman. She has excellent marketing skills--ie, she would go to the market everyday to buy stuff to cook, and give out my business cards to any familiar face. At one point while chatting in the palengke grounds with her high school classmate Aling Poquita, she noted that Aling Poquita's friend has facial edema. "Uy bakit sya manas?" my mother (who has started to develop a clinical eye) asked, and before I knew it random people she has chatted in the palengke were coming to our house for consults. I told my mom that solicitation is not ethical, but she insists that she is only trying to help these people none of whom were seeing any doctor for their condition at that time.
One of the old stuff we sell in our hardware is something called "sahing", resin used for industrial purposes. This stuff is also being used by albularyo's because of its inherent heat--its the gunk they use to stick those small square papers, on which prayers are written, all over the patient's body. Eventually people in really depressed areas who couldn't even afford the "donations" for albularyo's would self-medicate with sahing. On many instances people would buy sahing from my mom, and my mom would ask, "Aay, san mo gagamitin?" This would progress into a long story about a mass palpated on the inguinal area, or an aching knee, or a black spot noted on the sole of a foot which started to swell and bleed.
"Aaaay, hindi gamot ang sahing," my mom would start. "Alam mo may anak kong doktor."
The latest extreme marketification stunt happened back in March when I was delivering my speech to elementary school graduates as the, barf, guest speaker. I didn't even know that my mother watched the darn thing. But it was even more unbelievable when she told me, beaming with pride at her own marketing zest, that while I was speaking on stage, she was slowly going around the audience area... giving my business cards to random parent saying anak ko po yan stuff!!! Eeeep!