An expert described IMTJ as “a bird of a different feather" in the medical tourism industry, but what kind of bird?
That's how a respected expert in medical tourism recently described the work that we do at International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ). I'm not going to name the individual but here's what he/she said:
"Thanks for the responsible reporting you guys do at IMTJ. It is a bird of a different feather in the 'colourful aviary' of medical tourism."
I repeat it here because I think it encapsulates what we are about, whether it's the content that we publish on IMTJ or that we deliver at events such as the IMTJ Medical Travel Summit in April 2017 in Croatia or at Destination Health: The Medical Travel Summit USA, taking place in Washington DC April 30 - May 3 2017.
So, what kind of bird is IMTJ?
It got me thinking.
Well... I had the nickname "Polly" at school... but we're certainly not a Parrot. "Parroting" (i.e. mindless repetition) is one of the problems that we face in the medical tourism world. You'll encounter plenty of parrots around the sector, particularly those on their conference perches. Those who repeat the same myths, the same extravagant claims and the same mindless clichés. Here are a few classic phrases that will help you to identify a parrot when you're out medical tourism "bird spotting":
It is said that ostriches bury their heads in the sand to avoid danger. In fact, when ostriches face danger, they do what most people do.. they run... at an impressive 40mph. In fact, ostriches swallow sand and pebbles to help grind up food in their stomachs. Another myth destroyed!
At IMTJ, we certainly don't stick our heads in the sand. But we do quite a bit of digging around to find the truth about what's going on beneath the surface of the medical tourism world... and destroy a few myths.
It is widely believed that magpies have a compulsive urge to steal sparkly things for their own nests. Well... we don't steal other people's stuff. Sadly, what we've found too often in the medical tourism sector is that other people steal our stuff (so, I assume it must be worth something... which is why we are asking people to pay a subscription to IMTJ).
We could be on to something with this one.
Wise? Well, only IMTJ readers and Intuition clients can say whether we've provided insight and understanding and enhanced their knowledge of the medical travel sector. And based on the feedback we get, I believe we're getting it right.
Old?... I've been involved in the medical travel business for longer than I care to remember. I can recall the days before web and mobile technology dominated our lives. IMTJ was launched as a print publication back in 2007.
So... wise old owl it is!
I am Executive Chairman of LaingBuisson International Ltd, a major provider of healthcare business intelligence. Our websites include International Medical Travel Journal, Treatment Abroad, the medical tourism portal, DoctorInternet, the Arabic medical tourism portal and Private Healthcare UK, the UK's leading site for private healthcare services. I am a regular speaker and commentator on medical tourism and the independent healthcare sector.