Optimizing Content Based on Physician Learning Preferences

Insights from Doximity's Physician Learning Report

Dec 15, 2023 | Hospital Solutions

Unfortunately, burnout, information overload, and provider siloing are the modern physician’s reality. Physicians face increasingly high expectations of care. A recent study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that to provide guideline-recommended care, a primary care physician would need to do nearly 27 hours of clinical work per day, a logistical impossibility. Physicians spend up to two hours doing administrative tasks like updating EHRs for every hour of clinical work. And, physicians are tasked with the challenge of lifelong learning in an environment where medical knowledge is estimated to double every 73 days or less. In this overwhelming context of a physician’s day-to-day, it’s essential to remember how physicians want to learn so that you can best optimize your content. 

Doximity surveyed over 600 physicians across five specialties to better understand how physicians prefer to engage with medical news and educational information. The results might surprise you. What’s more, they might also help guide your content strategy. 

A significant 95% of surveyed physicians are interested in learning about new trials, treatments, or procedures. However, the majority often feel overwhelmed. In fact, due to the constraints of their clinical schedules, over 80% of respondents reported that they review medical news or information after their workday ends or on their days off. 85% reported consuming most or all of their medical information online. 

It might seem intuitive, but it’s worth noting that the source of medical information is important to physicians. Leveraging content from trusted sources like medical journals or news outlets can be a strategic way to bolster your messaging. Additionally, as your organization builds brand awareness among physicians, your brand becomes a more trusted source, boosting the impact of your messages. 

Due to the network-based nature of medical education, physicians often prefer collaborative opportunities like conferences, webinars, and events, as well as learning directly from thought leaders or colleagues. Not surprisingly, due to our increasingly digital world, physicians are particularly interested in learning on online platforms or tools for doctors, where the content and source of information can be trusted. 

Finally, the format of content can have a big impact on engagement and retention. According to research, 65% of the population are visual learners. Across different learning styles, it’s been shown that retention increases as participants are asked to watch a demo, participate in a discussion, or perform a task. 

How can you leverage these insights? The right message, creative, format, and channel are key to grabbing the attention of interested, but very busy physicians. It’s essential to take into account how overextended physicians at large currently feel. Create content that is: 

  • Relevant: Relevant content sees 3x higher engagement 
  • Personalized: Personalization not only drives engagement, it also drives retention
  • Multimodal: Different users have different preferences at different times. A strong digital campaign uses multiple content types to engage audiences.
  • Network-based: Connecting physicians enhances engagement and learning (and empowers better patient care)

Curious to learn more about physician learning trends? Check out our recorded webinar with Dr. Amit Phull.