Neil H. Baum, MD, presented “Enhancing Communication with Physician Colleagues” for the Grand Rounds in Urology audience in July 2022.

How to cite: Baum, Neil H. “Enhancing Communication with Physician Colleagues.” July 2022. Accessed Jul 2024.

Enhancing Communication with Physician Colleagues – Summary

Grand Rounds in Urology Contributing Editor Neil H. Baum, MD, Professor of Urology at Tulane Medical School, discusses effectively communicating with colleagues through patient referral letters. He observes that promptly reporting back to the referring physician is the second most common reason why a physician will receive referrals in the first place. Equally important to swift response is sending clear referral letters that provide the physician with valuable information. Dr. Baum contends that the traditional referral letter is typically too long, slow to arrive, and can be expensive for transcription. Similarly, an electronic copy of patient’s electronic medical record can require too much time to review. Instead, an effective referral letter contains three simple components: diagnosis, medications, and treatment plan recommended. Additionally, physicians should strive to turn around a referral letter before the patient returns to the referring physician for follow up. Dr. Baum offers tips on creating a template referral letter to simplify the process with either preprinted forms or through the patient’s electronic medical record.

For more commentary on practice management from Dr. Baum, visit his Improving Your Urology Practice page.


Neil H. Baum, MD, is a Clinical Professor of Urology at Tulane Medical School in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is also a retired urologic surgeon. Additionally, Dr. Baum serves as the Medical Advisor to Vanguard Communications Group. Dr. Baum is the author of Marketing Your Clinical Practice - Ethically, Effectively, and Economically, which is in its 4th edition, has sold over 175,000 copies, and has been translated into Spanish. He also wrote The Complete Business Guide to a Successful Medical Practice, which was published in 2015. Dr. Baum was the columnist for American Medical News for more than 25 years. Dr. Baum also wrote the popular column, “The Bottom Line,” for Urology Times for more than 20 years. He is a requested speaker each year to the Practice Management Seminar for the American Urological Association (AUA), where he discusses techniques for making urology practices more efficient and more productive. He has written more than 9 books on practice management and over 250 peer-reviewed articles on various urologic topics. Dr. Baum is also the medical advisor to Vanguard Communications Group.