Sunday, June 14, 2009

Shared Detail Appointments Can Save Doctors' Time & Improve Product Education

In the recent issue of the AARP Bulletin, I read about doctors scheduling appointments with up to 15 patients at the same time (see "Doctors Take Sharing to a New Level—Medical Appointments"). It's called a "Shared Medical Appointment."

"SMAs allow as many as 15 patients to schedule an appointment with one doctor for a 90-minute session. The physician interacts with individual patients as needed, but usually addresses questions with the entire group."

I'm sure the typical SMA session does not last 90 minutes. Thirty minutes would be about as long as I would want to sit in a group session! Therefore, I'm also sure it saves the physician a lot of time and needless repetition of the same information.

What if physicians applied the same idea to sales reps? That is, instead of seeing Jane who sells anticholesterol product A on Wednesday and Jake who sells anticholesterol product B on Thursday, why can't the doctor invite both Jane and Jake in for a visit at the same time? Have them make their best pitch and then allow a point-counterpoint discussion of features and benefits, comparing product A to product B.

I call this a Shared Detail Appointment (SDP).

What if, instead of sales reps, it were Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs)? MSLs aren't supposed to promote products but are peers who discuss the science behind products with physicians.

Not only would SDPs encourage head-to-head comparative studies, it would be great entertainment for the doctor(s). Of course, lunch should be included!

1 comment:

  1. Great idea John - reps would become more like "lawyers" for the product - arguing thier case against their competitors. In the post-fallout era of free office gifts - perhaps this is what is needed to give the reps a new purpose with the docs - know your product, the competition and the category.


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