Dr Alfred Sparman has changed the face of Health Promotions in Barbados forever. Pushing the envelop, the entrepreneurial cardiologist whose entry to Barbados in 2001 was met with some resistance, has on top of this, made many turn to the fraternity’s professional code of conduct with regard to advertising.
Granted there is need for some research on the code and its rationale. My first thoughts however, as a student of communications, is that it is antiquated and has no place in our new capitalist society. What is so innately horrible about advertising that local professional codes of practice for doctors, lawyers and architects prevent them from doing so? This archaic rule maintains the status quo and gives the Establishment the edge, enforcing a level of conformity and conservatism that is speedily disappearing from the Bajan everyday reality.
Sparman’s strategy is one for the textbooks. His aggressive marketing tactics have made other medical practitioners take note and start to do some outreach themselves albeit in a more indirect way. For example a number of doctors are taking the opportunity to go on the talk shows on radio and television. Attorney-at-law Cecil Mc Carthy’s weekly column Everyday Law in the Nation Newspaper, I am sure has helped to put him on the map. Doctors are stepping out in public behind causes and clinics, even the well established like the Diagnostic Clinic which publicized their anniversary last year in a major way.
Dr. Donna Mathews stepped completely out of the box in promoting her weight loss program in the Easy Magazine of Sunday April 29, 2012 and caused a raucous in declaring it was not FDA approved but it works. Sparman was featured on Monday April 30, 2012 in the Business Authority in the 10-Minute Manager, more indirect promotion for our Dr. Marketing. To show his understanding of sales and growing a business, when asked: What is your biggest professional challenge? His answer was: “To secure a brand.” A very unlikely answer for a doctor but a brilliant one for a businessman. Good Going Dr. Sparman!