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MedComms from a KOL Perspective: A Conversation with Dr. Drew Provan

Episode Summary:

Welcome to the Transforming Medical Communications podcast brought to you by MedComms Experts. This podcast explores the dynamic landscape of medical communication strategies, innovations, and challenges. We facilitate insightful conversations that contribute to advancing effective medical communication practices.

Joining us today is Drew Provan, an expert Hematologist and authority in Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). We discuss Drew’s journey from studying molecular biology to becoming a physician, and expert in creating engaging and memorable presentations. We also discuss the future of medical communications, the role of storytelling, and the need for personalized content.

Guest at a Glance:

Drew Provan is an experienced Hematologist and expert in immune thrombocytopenia. He is passionate about molecular biology and scientific communications, and combines his medical and scientific expertise with artistic pursuits.


Host at a Glance:

Wesley Portegies is the CEO and Founder of MedComms Experts, a company offering a unique blend of talent, expertise, and resources to create effective medical communication strategies. Wesley is an experienced entrepreneur, starting his first company at 19 years old and building multiple successful companies from scratch. Driven by a passion for medical communications, Wesley has over 20 years of experience in the medical industry – both agency and client side.

  • Connect with Wesley Portegies on LinkedIn


Topics We discuss:

  • Drew’s journey from Microbiology to Hematology
  • The most critical aspects for the effective presentation of scientific information
  • Why are 81% of physicians dissatisfied with pharmaceutical company interactions?
  • The role of storytelling in medical presentations
  • The future of medical communications


Key Highlights:

  • 03:27 – 07:09 – Key Attributes of Effective Scientific Presentations

Drew mentions that listening to most medical presentations is unsatisfying because the presenters don’t care enough about the audience. Presenters should focus on engaging the audience and ensuring they understand the concept being discussed. The idea is to reduce everything to a fundamental level because simplicity is more engaging than complexity. The idea is for slides to have a few keywords and use graphics to explain the concept and data.   

“I’ve sat through hundreds of talks, and there are very few where I can say, wow, that was amazing. The presentation and delivery were excellent, and the slides were a knockout. Hardly ever happens”.

  • 14:54 – 17:03 – Why are 81% of Physicians Dissatisfied with Communication from Pharma Companies?

This statistic is from a McKinsey report, and the reason is that content has to be tailored better to the audience being addressed. For instance, the messaging to a general physician should cover the basics across a broader base. In contrast, the messaging for a specialist should focus more on the topic and provide in-depth information.

  • 22:08 – 24:16 – The Role of Storytelling in Medical Communication

Drew explains that engaging and effective medical communication pivots around the basics of good storytelling. The hook could be talking about a disease that can’t be diagnosed, where we don’t know how to treat it, and then move on to therapies being developed and tested. How many diseases have no diagnostic test, and nobody knows what the best treatment is today? So that gets them thinking. 


The host of Transforming Medical Communications

Wesley Portegies
CEO and Founder of MedComms Experts

Hi there,

I am the host of the Transforming Medical Communications podcast.

Our field is being left in the dust by the cutting-edge communication methods and practices in other industries. We’re going to change that. On Transforming Medical Communications we talk to the biggest and brightest names in Medical Affairs & Communications to find out what they’re doing to push our industry forward and define the future.

If you are interested in participating in an interview, please reach out to us.

Yes, I’d like to participate