Physician Insights

Physician panels are a key aspect of market research that will provide you with critical insights and feedback that can help you grow your company. When targeting physicians, you are often going after physicians with certain specialties. This is not always easy to do and there are many things to consider. Physicians offer different views on the industry when it comes to medicine, devices, and treatments that can provide crucial insights when it comes to a company’s decision-making processes. Leaving million-dollar decisions to chance in health care research is always a risk. That is why it’s important to use market research to get the data you need to make these decisions.

Why Conduct Physician Market Research

Physicians have some of the most important jobs in society. Their time is always in-demand – and this is true in terms of market research as well. Organizations want to understand how physicians are utilizing specific products, from pharmaceuticals or medical devices, because that is their channel to the end-user. Insights gathered can help an organization update the design of a medical device, or better understand the market and their competitors. There are multiple approaches that can be used, but all fall into two categories: Quantitative Research and Qualitative Research.

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research is a good option to gather feedback from a larger, more geographically broad, audience of physicians. It can also help you create a sample that is representative. Some examples of quantitative patient research include:

Online Surveys

  • Online surveys are a great way to measure attitudes and behaviors from a large audience and be able to extrapolate the insights and attribute them to a population.
  • These types of studies are particularly good when looking to gather feedback or insights from physicians who have extremely busy and unpredictable schedules – they allow you to get their feedback at a time that best suits them.


  • Diaries are a good research method if you are looking to gather rich insight, especially around the behavior and/or usage of a specific product. This can be especially insightful for medical device manufacturers who are wanting to better understand how their end-users (physicians) are using their products, and what can be done to make them better.

Qualitative Research

Qualitative research is a good option to gather deep, richer insights from a smaller group. Some examples of qualitative physician research include:

  • Personal Interviews
  •  Focus Groups

Tips for Conducting Physician Market Research

Physicians are extremely busy and focus a majority of their time on treating and caring for their patients. Getting them to respond to a survey or participate in a focus group can be very difficult. There are some tips to follow to achieve your desired outcomes.

  1. Keep Your Survey Short

Surveys that can take 30 minutes to an hour and have 10 open-ends are going to be a non-starter with this target audience. Make sure you design to survey to be short, and keep it to the core concept you are looking to gather insights on. 

  1. Consider Your Timing

There are different times of year that can be especially busy for specific specialists. The end of year (November/December) can be a busy time for many physicians as the fiscal year is ending for many health plans and people will look to use up their remaining plan dollars. You should consider the timing you want to conduct your study and how it lines up with your target audience and their workload cycle.

  1. Doctor’s Schedules Are King

When targeting physicians of any specialty, your schedule takes a backseat to theirs. You need to be flexible with your timing when you are trying to get them to participate, whether that is an interview or an online study. If you only off them the normal 9-5, Monday to Friday timing, don’t be surprised if your study fails. You need to ensure that your study participation times best fit their schedules, which could mean early or late in the day, or even weekend times.

  1. CPIs Will Be High

If you think you are going to get physicians to take a 25-minute survey for $10, you’re wrong. If you want physicians or doctors to participate (no matter their specialty), it’s going to cost you. There is a cost-benefit analysis most physicians will go through when considering participating, and determine if it would be better to care for patients or participate.

  1. Use a Healthcare Sample Panel Specialist

Cold calling physicians to get them to participate in your survey is not going to work. Using a healthcare panel can help you get to the target physician types you are looking for. They are screened and the physicians that are members have opted in to be part of it.

Our Network and Vetting Process

We have over 20 years of experience identifying, vetting, and managing a strong network of healthcare partners and have developed a method that can help you reach your target audiences. Our strict panel vetting process ensures we only allow the best panel sources into our network.

Here at EMI, we utilize our certified panels to deliver quantitative and qualitative research around the globe. Our global network of partners allows us to access one of the largest pools of physician panelists from varying specialties and niches to match you with the best fit for your target. 

Getting physicians to participate in market research studies is no easy task. We have partnered with the highest quality physician panel sources to deliver deeply profiled and responsive healthcare professionals around the world for our clients’ medical research needs.

We also push to ensure that all surveys are device agnostic. One of the key benefits of market research is its ability to capture insights and reactions from respondents in real time. Surveys that can be taken on smartphones allow physicians to take surveys more conveniently and on their own schedule. This helps to mitigate issues of reaching healthcare professionals with busy schedules whose top priority may not always be survey participation.

Target Specialties

Here is a sample of some of the physicians and specialists we can target.
To better understand our full targeting capabilities, you can download our panel book here.

Our Approach to Data Quality

EMI’s commitment to quality comes from our extensive industry knowledge and our drive to deliver unbiased, actionable quantitative data tailored to the needs of our clients. To do that, we have built a multi-faceted suite of quality measures, including both technology and human elements, to provide the highest quality patient data possible.

Our overall data quality process plays a role in every stage of our sample plan construction. We begin our quality process early on when vetting and assessing potential panel sources for potential inclusion in the EMI network. Each sample provider added to our network goes through a rigorous assessment process where only 33% are approved and admitted.

We manage each study through our proprietary sample management platform, SWIFT. It combines industry leading digital fingerprinting, along with Geo-IP blocking, as well as the best fraud and bot detection technology hardcoded into our platform. (i.e., SampleChain, MaxMind, DB-IP, FraudLabs, etc.) Our internal algorithm sets a threshold level for fraud and if a respondent has been flagged for too many fraudulent behaviors, they are blocked.

You can learn more about our overall approach to quality here.

Physician Audience Examples

Target Audience: Dry Eye Physicians

Geography: United States

Time in Field: 30 Days

Length of Interview: 15 Minutes

Completes: 56

Target Audience: Cardiology / Neurology

Geography: United States, Germany, Netherlands, Antilles, United Kingdom, France

Time in Field: 13 Days

Length of Interview: 25 Minutes

Completes: 120

Target Audience: Twin Cities Oncology

Geography: United States

Time in Field: 28 Days

Length of Interview: 20 Minutes

Completes: 256

Target Audience: Pediatricians

Geography: United States

Time in Field: 24 Days

Length of Interview: 25

Completes: 296

Want to discover how EMI can help you with physician market research? Click the button below to request your free consultation.