MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Mitch Rothschild MA, MBA
Co-founder of Vitals
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: There’s so much in the news about health care today. It’s on people’s mind more than ever before due to rising costs and deductibles and, of course, the repeal debate.
With that in mind, we wanted to see how the current landscape affects two things: 1) People’s trust in the health system in general; and 2) Their attitude towards the doctor-patient relationship.
It shouldn’t be surprising that different generations had different perceptions. But we were amazed by how some generational stereotypes held true when it came to doctor-patient relationships and the health care attitudes.
Millennials – Health Care Idealists
Being in their 20s and 30s, Millennials are young and in general a healthy bunch. For the most part, they’ve utilized less health care services than other generations. Only 35 percent have a primary care provider, and one in four say they use an alternative care facility, like an urgent care center, when they are sick.
Often characterized as optimistic and idealistic, those traits may help explain why they have a high degree of trust in the system and in their doctors. They’re the least likely to question their doctor’s authority or their integrity when it comes to fessing up to medical mistakes.
Confident and idealistic, Millennials are often labeled as over-sharers for their habits both on social media and in the real world. But this translates into an open doctor-patient relationship. Millennials are more likely than other generations to say they can tell their doctor “anything.” Perhaps a byproduct of their parents raising them to believe their voice matters, Millennials have an expectation that they can and should engage authority. Yet, that collaborative and open dialogue leads to another positive: They’re the most likely to follow their doctor’s medical advice.
Millennials have grown up as digital natives. As such, they’re the most likely to use online reviews to “check up” on a new doctor. Yet, their familiarity with technology leads them to be the least suspicious of pitfalls. More than other generations, Millennials trust health facilities with their personal health information.