Millennials: the Same Doctors in a Changed Environment

What defines the difference between doctors who were born into the "Millennial" generation (born between 1980 and 2000) and doctors from previous generations, and are those differences noteworthy or important to the way we think about this new generation of physicians?

Dr. Sachin Jain wrote about millennial physicians in a June column for Forbes magazine, and identified several key points:

  • Many perceived trends in millennial physician behavior may be attributable to environmental factors – such as comfort with new technologies and adaptation to duty-hour restrictions – rather than with conformance with generational norms.
  • Some criticisms of millennials speak more to older physicians' reaction to changes in medicine than to millennials themselves.  To be sure, these changes represent significant differences, but cannot easily be quantified as "better" or "worse," and they certainly do not reflect millennial doctors as a group.
  • Similarly, there is a history of some criticisms being attributed to every new generation, not just millennials.  These criticisms include arguments that younger doctors are less dedicated and are less skilled at physical examination.
  • Societal changes have made it more acceptable for millennial physicians to address issues (e.g. work-life balance) which were not openly discussed in previous generations.

Ultimately, Dr. Jain concludes that differences between generations of doctors are relatively small when compared to the wide range of differences between doctors of the same generation.

Read the full article about millennial physicians in ACP Internist.

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