The doctor persona 2025

Seeing around corners is always hard. However, to go to where the puck will be is a useful step when planning strategy and tactics to meet the needs of customers segments. Here are some ways to help build your parabolic mirror view of what’s next.

If you have a product or service and are planning not just for the now, but the next and new, then painting a picture of your customer archetype or personna is a key tool.

Do you know who your dream customer is?

There are 3 steps for understanding your dream customer:

  1. Consider the big issues they are facing – look wider and investigate global issues, such as hunger, environmental sustainability or education.
  2. Identify the industry trends that are affecting them – technology, big data, cyber security, etc.
  3. Describe your customer avatar/archetype/persona now – make a collage including their goals and values, demographics, their pain points and challenges.

Now work out how you can help them:

  1. What key innovation opportunities can you offer – what innovation projects will make a real difference, that are market focused, innovative, exciting and inspiring.
  2. Select customers who like, know, trust and can afford you.
  3. Redefine your purpose so you can serve your dream customer.

Here is a view of Millennial Medicine.

Or, take selecting medical student applicants, for example. I recently spoke with someone who graduated with a computer science major, did a masters degree at Cambridge, then graduated with an MBA from the Stanford business school. If you were on the selection committee, at Stanford Medical School, would you accept him? Well, they did. But, after completing medical school, he created a startup that he sold to Waymo, did not do a residency and is now working with a venture capital firm in San Francisco focusing on healthcare AI companies. Is that what you had in mind when you accepted him given the so-called physician workforce shortage?

While there are some commonalities in most all doctors, each specialty attracts a certain kind of person and personality. Primary care docs are different from CT surgeons. In fact, the personality of the specialty is one of the determinants of residency and a career selection by medical students. In addition, each doctor plays multiple clinical, teaching, research/development/commercialization,, community service and administrative/leadership roles with multiple affiliations.

So, if you want to get into the skin of a doctor, you will have to spend some time taking a deeper dive into what makes a particular doctor tick. Design thinking is a way to do that.

I was probably admitted to medical school because I could memorize and regurgitate things on standardized tests. Is that any way to run a railroad?

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Doctors will continue to want you to create them a QWILT SET. But, how, when and by whom will be different moving forward.

So, how will the doctor of the future be different from the doctors of today?

  1. They will be chosen differently
  2. They will be educated and trained differently
  3. They will be measured more intensely than they are now particularly for competencies
  4. They will be employed by different employers. A hospital or health system employed about 25% of U.S. physicians in 2012. That percentage nearly doubled to 44% in 2018.
  5. They will be paid differently
  6. They will be more data driven
  7. They will be disintermediated for some jobs and substituted for some by others
  8. They will work in different sick care and health care ecosystems
  9. They will evolve from being knowledge technicians to strategic thinkers
  10. More will have an entrepreneurial mindset
  11. They will demand more personalized solutions for lifelong learning, clinical decision support and dissemination and implementation of new technologies
  12. In some instances, they will become commoditized and therefore challenged to differentiate themselves
  13. They will require the knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies to win the 4th industrial revolution and they will use new adult learning technologies to learn and practice them
  14. They will work in interprofessional teams, not as individuals, taking care of patients and their care community
  15. They will work under the coordination of a global cybernervous system
  16. Primary care will be unbundled
  17. They will work as part of the gig economy
  18. They will be more data literate
  19. They will have shorter clinical careers
  20. They will be working more in non-clinical careers
  21. The physician workforce will include more women who will have different practice patterns and productivity
  22. Physicians over 65 will delay retirement
  23. The physician experience will eclipse the focus on the patient experience
  24. The innovaging economy will take center stage and leave a gap in geriatrics
  25. Community health workers will be more important stakeholders as part of the patient team as social determinants overwhelm clinicians
  26. Medical societies and medical meetings will become less relevant and virtualized
  27. They will work in jobs that have not yet been created.
  28. The pace of change and the innovation imperative will cause more doctors to shift to the left of the technology adoption curve.
  29. Most doctors will continue to “buy” emotionally and justify rationally.
  30. Doctors will struggle to learn and unlearn the hidden curriculum.
  31. They will be more risk averse, less entrepreneurial and burdened with debt
  32. The changing role of the academic physician as AMCs change their business models.
  33. How would Medicare for All change the physician workforce?

34. Their expertise will be questioned

35. They will want you to educate and engage them differently.

36. They hate email

In a survey, physicians, residents and medical students say they expect almost a third of their current duties could be automated in 20 years. And doctors are preparing for that very different healthcare future now, according to the report (PDF).

The COVID pandemic has accelerated the diffusion and implementation of digital health, including the confluence of remote sensing, telemedicine, AI, remote patient monitoring and DIY medicine. Despite that, there is still no digital health whole product solution that is accessible to everyone.

Nearly half of physicians (73%) and most medical students (73%) are seeking additional training in areas such as advanced statistics, genetic counseling, population health and coding. One-third are studying artificial intelligence, according to the national survey of more than 700 physicians, residents and medical students commissioned by Stanford Medicine to understand how changing trends will reach the doctor’s office and shape patient care.

What is the role of the doctor as DIY medicine advances? Will sick care go the way of self driving cars? Will technology really replace 80% of what doctors do or just scale them? What doctor shortage are you talking about?

We are living in medical world that has gone from high touch to high tech to no touch to no trust.

Half of all current jobs could be wiped out within 20 years.

Over half of doctors are now employees and growing. Here’s what they are looking for when you offer them a job.

Prognosticating is always dangerous, particularly when you are trying to predict the future. But, all things considered, it’s better than moving forward while always looking in the rear view mirror.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs on Twitter@SoPEOfficial and Co-editor of Digital Health Entrepreneurship