What Do Millennial Patients and Clinicians Want from Lifestyle Medicine and Primary Care?

In late 2020, PCC began a year-long project to assess - and ultimately better address - what millennial patients and clinicians want from lifestyle medicine and primary care. The project is funded by a grant from the Ardmore Institute of Health.

Millennials (born 1981-1996) are interacting with primary care in significantly different ways than their predecessors are, or they are foregoing such care all together. While millennial patients are garnering some attention, an overlooked group is primary care clinicians in the millennial age category. The experiences of this age group in primary care are happening within larger radical shifts in primary care in where, what, and who is delivering care as well as how technology is shaping it – and COVID-19 is further catalyzing such changes. These shifts affect primary care patients and clinicians alike.  

As part of the project, PCC has held focus group discussions with millennial patients and one-on-one interviews of millennial primary care clinicians (MDs, DOs, NPs and PAs) to inform an understanding of this generation’s expectations related to lifestyle medicine, behavioral health, chronic care management and other aspects of comprehensive primary care as the country manages and emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus groups also discussed topics such as trusted patient-clinician relationships, lifestyle coaching, shared decision-making, and use of virtual health technology, as well as how costs shape their decisions.

The findings of these focus groups will inform a convening of high-level leaders who will explore what younger patients and clinicians (ages 24-39) desire from front-line care vs. their current experience, including experiences related to lifestyle medicine. Members of this roundtable of leaders:

  • Amy Berk, MSN, RN, Director, Population Health | Microsoft
  • Mitchell A. Blount, MPH, Senior Research Assistant | National Center for Primary Care, Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Marsha-Gail Davis, MD, Young Director | Board of Directors, American College of Lifestyle Medicine
  • Tracy Gaudet, MD, Executive Director | Veterans Health Administration’s National Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation
  • Angelica Geter, DrPH, MPH, Chief Strategy Officer | Black Women's Health Imperative
  • Ann Greiner, MCP, President & CEO | Primary Care Collaborative
  • Paul Grundy, MD, MPH, FACOEM, FACPM, Chief Transformation Officer | Innovaccer
  • Wayne Jonas, MD, Executive Director | Integrative Health Programs, Samueli Foundation
  • Ellen Kelsay, President & CEO | Business Group on Health
  • Mary Anne Kiel, Col, USAF, MC, Air Force Medical Home Element Chief | U.S. Air Force (participating in a personal capacity)

The insights provided by the rountable will be particularly relevant as PCC and the lifestyle medicine community also reflect on what is changing in primary care as a result of the pandemic. The leaders will be asked to articulate steps that public and private policymakers can take to close identified gaps between what these audiences experience and what they want from primary care.

PCC plans to share the findings and policy recommendations in an online healthcare media outlet.


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