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Millennial Physicians Bring New Expectations to Relationships With Patients, Peers and Pharma

National Survey Reveals Four out of Five Gen Y Doctors Believe Millennial Patients Require a Different Relationship with Their Doctors than Older Patients

NEW YORK, NY – June 2, 2016 – Millennial physicians – defined as 26- to 36-year-old general practitioners – are redefining the patient-physician relationship. According to a new report released today from inVentiv Health agencies, GSW, inVentiv Health PR Group and PALIO 66 percent of millennial doctors change their approach according to the age of the patient they’re seeing. This includes being more likely to ask millennial patients to do additional research on their own, and simplifying explanations for non-millennial patients.

The online survey uncovered behaviors and attitudes about how doctors gather treatment information, interact with patients and view the pharma industry. The goal was to better understand today’s newest physicians and how their generational distinction impacts how they approach their practice.

“We’ve done a lot of research around millennials and their health preferences, from concerns and consumption habits to which health brands are best meeting the needs of Gen Y,” said Leigh Householder, Chief Innovation Officer at GSW. “With this report, we headed into the practice of millennial physicians and found that age really does impact their approach to relationships and patient care.”

The survey report, “Millennial Mindset: The Collaborative Clinician,” outlines how millennial physicians prefer a collaborative approach to nearly all aspects of their practice, from encouraging patients to do online research before their appointments to highly valuing two-way conversations with peers when it comes to learning about treatment options. Millennial doctors want collaboration from pharma, too, when it comes to treating patients: 60 percent are more likely to see a pharma sales rep if they offer important programs for their patients. Millennial doctors think the most useful tools pharma can provide are discussion guides (48 percent) and adherence support (40 percent).

What Impacts Treatment Decisions for Millennial Physicians
Millennial physicians find peers to be the biggest influence when considering treatment options, with about half (42 percent) citing educational experiences driven by peers to be the most relevant for learning about new treatments (only 18 percent of non-millennial doctors agreed). Pharma has work to do with this new generation: only 16 percent of millennial physicians found promotion from pharmaceutical manufacturers to be influential when considering a new treatment (compared to 48 percent of older doctors).

While more than half of millennial doctors believe direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising serves to educate patients about new medications, an overwhelming 81 percent of millennial doctors believe that DTC advertising makes their job harder because patients ask for medications they don’t need. But millennial physicians aren’t easily swayed by patient requests: they are much less likely than older doctors to be influenced by patient requests when it comes to prescribing a treatment (23 percent vs. 41 percent, respectively).

“In our research and conversations, we found that if you become a doctor, regardless of whether or not you’re a millennial, there’s at least some desire to serve and protect the health of the others around you,” said Jeanine O’Kane, President of inVentiv Health PR Group, U.S. “There are certainly shared values, but millennial doctors today also are creating an environment that matches up with their generation’s unique characteristics and values. These are critical insights that will help shape the future of how pharma engages with physicians.”

To read more about Generation Y doctors, the ways in which they differ from their non-millennial colleagues, and how pharma brands can engage more effectively with this key audience, download “Millennial Mindset: The Collaborative Clinician.”

The millennial physician survey was conducted by Fuel Insights on behalf of inVentiv Health. There were 100 millennial (ages 26-36) physician respondents and 100 non-millennial (older than 36 years) physician respondents to the online survey fielded in the U.S. between April and May 2016.

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