False and misleading healthcare information has been a cause for concern for generations.
In a recent survey from Weber Shandwick and KRC Research, it was reported that millennials often seem to mistrust healthcare professionals.
While this sounds like a wholly negative statement, it isn’t always. For the most part, it isn’t that millennials feel doctors are wrong, it’s more that they want to find healthcare literature for themselves.
Many would rather form a partnership with their physician(s) and then be able to bring their research to them and be taken seriously.
As a medical practice, it will be your job to make it possible for millennials to have this freedom, while providing them with the medical advice and care they need. Now more than ever, it’s important to build a successful ad campaign to reach these potential but skeptical patients.
What the research says about millennials and healthcare
Of those who participated in the survey, 38 percent of millennials are more trusting of their peers than they are of doctors. Additionally, 55 percent stated that the medical information found online is just as reliable as the information gathered from a doctor. Among all generations surveyed, only half of millennials stated they were ‘very satisfied’ with their doctor’s medical information.
President of Global Healthcare Practice at Weber Shandwick, Laura Schoen, stated her surprise at the millennial skepticism. Her concern lies in the fact that millennials will be the driving generation in the next decade:
“The thing that worried us a lot is that they’re so dissatisfied with information from healthcare professionals. Their trusted source is friends and people like them. This generation is going to be the most important generation in just 10 years. What’s going to happen if they don’t trust doctors?”
This means that doctors will need to find a way to earn the trust of millennials and find a way to open better lines of communication. The most obvious choice for communicating with millennials is the internet.
Online marketing is best path to reach millennial patients
Even though 55 percent of millennials say they feel online medical information is just as reliable as that from a doctor, there are still those who don’t trust online health information and are worried about false and misleading information.
Effective online marketing reaches potential millennial patients and gets them familiar with reliable information from a trustworthy practice.
To keep that trust once you have it, it’s important to understand the role of transparency in the medical industry, which we covered in a recent blog post.