top of page
  • amy0617


Updated: Apr 26

At RWA, we help healthcare clients market to current customers, but we also encourage them to look at future healthcare consumers. Want to know how young people are choosing healthcare? Here's the perspective from one twenty-something - our own Starr Courakos.

I am 24 years old and have never scheduled a doctor’s appointment for myself. Walking into the student infirmary on UF’s campus or putting in a quick call to my dermatologist for acne cream doesn’t count. Also…my mom definitely put in that call. Every time I try to make any type of appointment, I am always asked for details about my primary care physician. Well, who is she? I haven’t met her. How do I even find one of those? I am 24 years old and have no idea how to contact a general physician.

My friends were no help. They were either like me, and haven’t seen a doctor since their pediatrician, or had their parents schedule their appointments. My parents are busy people. I’m an adult. How hard could it be, really?

Famous last words. I didn’t know doctors could just decide not to see any new patients. The concept of your workload being completely full due to the ongoing maintenance of real humans was totally foreign to me. I called and called female doctors popping up in my health insurance’s network, and each time I was told they weren’t taking on new clients. This menial task was slowly morphing into a nuisance. My blood pressure was probably fine. It didn’t feel like I was lacking any vitamins. No need for a doctor to confirm this.

And then I got sick. The importance of a doctor who knows me, knows my history and my concerns, suddenly became very relevant. The urgent care visit I reluctantly scheduled nearest my house involved a two-hour wait, curt staff members, and a diagnosis that didn’t feel accurate to my body or my symptoms.

Because my phone knows me better than I do (and at this point, I’ve just accepted my fate), I started getting ads on Instagram and YouTube for healthcare providers in my area. I typically wouldn’t engage - until I saw an ad for an office that I drive by on my way to work every day. I recognized the logo, and quickly tapped in a Google search to pull up reviews. Everything was mostly positive, their website was easy to navigate, and when I called a real person answered. My appointment was scheduled for the following Monday.

Although I previously conceded to not having much doctor’s office experience, the appointment was easily the best I’ve had with a physician to date. The office staff was efficient, and my doctor was kind yet direct. When I voiced some concerns, I felt heard. Her immediate reaction wasn’t to write off a quick prescription, but to listen and understand me. I felt like I was receiving much more holistic and personalized care.

This is what I want every time I go to the doctor. This is what my peers want, what Millennials and Gen Z need. Not once in my quest for improved health did I look up a ranking. Not once did I check a doctor’s laundry list of awards. As my younger generation begins to take up the majority of the population and gradually realizes they should visit a doctor at some point, I am worried about the way they are being presented healthcare options.

I don’t think doctors' offices show they care enough about reaching or helping young people. Every time I was on the receiving end of a we-have-no-availability call, I was never offered an alternative option. Even my pediatrician had no recommendation for me. One day I might get pregnant, one day my kid might break a bone. I want to establish myself within a network of doctors where I know I can get the care I need, whatever it may be. I want to do all of this searching only once.

Healthcare providers are in such a unique position right now to catch all these young people while they have no loyalties. And yet, I consistently receive messaging that healthcare is for old people. Healthcare is boring. Healthcare is hard to understand. I am an educated young adult, and deserve to feel seen by a doctor about something as intimate and essential as my health.

Of course, I went on to recommend my shiny new general physician to all my friends, and saved her office number in my phone. She told me to call if I ever need anything, and I have. I spoke to her personally one afternoon and my question was answered without hesitation. I asked how many of her patients are younger than 30. She said I was the only one.

5 views0 comments
bottom of page