Look to the Past for the Future of Hcp Peer-To-Peer Education



As patients are exposed to more direct-to-consumer advertising with new products in the marketplace, the need for clinicians to have in-depth knowledge on the latest therapies in order to be able to answer their patients’ questions and demands, and to select the most appropriate therapy, is more important than ever before. For Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) already in practice, the traditional approach to acquiring this critical information beyond medical journals and CME has been the live dinner meeting. HCPs have favored this approach to learning because it lets them discuss and debate the topic with their peers, a learning format favored back in medical school.


However, several changes during this decade have made the traditional Key Opinion Leader (KOL) Speaker-led dinner meeting less practical:

  • The trend toward more restrictive government regulations and increased transparency regarding interactions between pharmaceutical companies and HCPs
  • Limited clinician time and availability due to ever-increasing demands of patient load and electronic recordkeeping
  • Increasing number of “No-See” clinicians (white space/gray space)
  • Younger clinicians’ preference for digital media


Despite these limitations in traditional HCP engagement, new opportunities leveraging digital media have grown to fill any void. These newer channels cannot replicate the dinner meeting in one important way – that physicians and other HCPs still learn best through the Socratic Method.1,2,3 The ability to ask questions and derive information from colleagues and experts is a critical factor in HCPs’ ability to retain information and apply it to their own clinical practices.

Peer-to-peer programming is an indispensable tool in fostering this learning environment. Live, but not in-person, programs can be highly beneficial in providing an interactive format for HCP education while reducing overall program costs and improving logistics.

By creating a group learning environment with a remote KOL, brand teams can provide a format where clinicians are not just presented with key product details, but learn in-depth information and how to put it to use when answering patients’ questions and selecting the most appropriate treatment.

An integral part of the group learning environment is the role of the Group Learning Expert (GLE)/Moderator. While the KOL provides the expertise regarding the disease state and product data, the GLE drives discussion within the group meeting by:


  • Encouraging attendees to ask questions and interact with the KOL and each other
  • Keeping the program on topic and within the time scheduled
  • Ensuring that the discussion/presentation adheres to all legal/compliance requirements
  • Completing any necessary adverse event reporting

With the current scrutiny on pharma-HCP interactions, along with the need to reduce costs, live events featuring a remote KOL and a GLE – either through Webcast, a Teleconference, or a combination of the two of them – are a cost-effective method of distributing critical product information to target HCPs. The ability to have a GLE driving interactions with a KOL and colleagues during these types of meetings remains a key factor in clinicians’ interest and the overall impact of brand messaging.

Contact us to get supporting case studies and learn more about our approach.


  1. https://www.aliem.com/2013/01/the-socratic-method/
  2. http://www.stfm.org/fmhub/fm2005/september/robert537.pdf
  3. http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Abstract/2015/01000/Socrates