These days, getting things lightning fast extends far beyond Fast Food and Google Searches. Millennials (those who are 18-33 years old) are using Uber to get transportation within minutes and Google Express to get things delivered to their doorsteps within hours. Need an instant date? Tinder will take care of that. Want to share a picture instantly with friends? We have Instagram for that. Want to listen to your favorite song instantly for free? Spotify, Pandora, and Youtube are easily accessible.
From finding information, to ordering food and supplies, getting a ride, getting dates, listening to music, sharing photos…..Millennials are used to things happening instantly. Hmmm……..but how about healthcare? Will doctors be able to satisfy patients who have come to expect instant gratification in nearly all other facets of their lives? What do Millennials expect from us? Will they pick YOU to be their next doctor? Why or why not? Whether you have just set up a new medical practice or you have been practicing for 30+ years, it is critical for your medical career (unless, of course, you are a geriatrician) to figure out what this generation wants from you.
DoctorCPR.com (America’s popular site for medical jobs and practice resources) surveyed 100 Millennials from all over the United States (Ages 18-33) in September 2015 to give you some answers. For more detailed results, please refer to DoctorCPR Millennials Survey: How Do You Pick Your Doctors–September 2015. We summarize the answers to the 10 main survey questions below.
So what can we conclude from this data? While the majority of respondents feel that it is important for physicians to have a website–it is not critical. 43% of all respondents felt it was not important for doctors to have one. Approximately half of your Millennial patients will probably not come back to see you if you make them wait more than 20 minutes. An overwhelming 91% of all Millennials felt that the “friendliness of your front office staff” is important or extremely important to them. (This is more important to them than having a state-of-the-art office or great parking). Millennials most commonly pick their doctors from Insurance Provider Directories (so make sure your listing is correct) and referrals from family, friends or other doctors. They also frequently find doctors from Google Searches.
While Yelp has gained significant traction among the younger generation in seeking out good businesses, 60% of respondents still do not feel that Yelp is important in picking a doctor. Millennials prefer seeing doctors who are between the ages of 35 and 55. They prefer going to private offices as opposed to hospital clinics, online consultations, or home visits. You should always advertise your educational and academic accomplishments as 97% of respondents consider that important when choosing a doctor. 90% of Millennials will be upset if they contact you by phone or e-mail and you don’t respond in 24 hours or less.
There are over 75 million Millennials in America. This year, the Millennial generation is projected to surpass the outsized Baby Boom generation as the nation’s largest living generation, according to the population projections released by the U.S. Census Bureau. As more and more get insured (especially since Obamacare has extended their coverage under their parents’ plans until the age of 26) we just can’t ignore their expectations when it comes to choosing a doctor. As physicians–we may not be able to provide them with instant gratification–but we can shape our practices to become more welcoming and attentive to this young generation.