By Matt Kuhrt
Ready or not, the millennials are coming. In fact, they're already here, and their presence is changing medical practice, according to an article in Medical Economics.
Despite the influx of millennials into the medical field overall, the number entering full-time clinical practice has declined markedly, down from 29 percent in 2009 to 25 percent in 2013.
Attracting and keeping millennials is inevitably going to be the name of the game for successful practices going forward, and contrary to some of the stereotypes regarding intergenerational strife, a lot of the changes that make the workplace more inviting for millennials can provide broader benefits throughout the practice:
- Millennials are technologically oriented, so bring your office technology up to snuff in order to show both doctors and patients you're not stuck in the Stone Age. Provide Wi-Fi for patients in the waiting area and update your website, the article suggests. Provide your doctors with easy access to online clinical information while you're at it.
- Encourage better communication. No matter what you do, there's bound to be some intergenerational friction, especially between established doctors who don't feel a need to defend their actions or recommendations to inexperienced new hires and a generation strongly inclined to question authority when they don't understand its merit.
- Manage expectations around feedback and praise. As a group, millennials have become accustomed to constant positive support, which can make constructive criticism a challenge. Let new hires know what types of feedback they will receive so that they don't perceive the absence of positive reinforcement negatively.
- Embrace your employees' desire for better work-life balance. Andrew Lutzkanin, M.D., points out that the desire for more personal time is less a function of laziness than of this generation's doctors seeing "how overworked and frustrated" many older, more-established physicians are, and seeking to avoid that fate.
To learn more:
- read the article