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How Millennials are Shaping Healthcare’s Future

  • Article by:Health Career Center
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We spend a lot of time at HealthCareerCenter.com talking about millennials, and for good reason.

With 53.5 million of them, millennials already make up a huge part of the U.S. workforce. Plus, 155,000 physicians (or 15 percent of the total) are under the age of 35. And they’re only going to grow in number from there.

Here’s how millennials are rewriting the rules of healthcare — and changing our entire health system in the process.

They can learn (and help patients) on the fly

Easy access to data has made millennials incredibly skilled at getting the information they need immediately. But on the downside, it also means they expect information immediately, too.

Take Andrew Lutzkanin, MD, who is working on his obstetrics fellowship in Alabama. The 31-year-old physician routinely consults his phone during patient visits, whether it’s to look up proper dosages of drugs or access EHR databases.

For traditional doctors, this could be seen as “cheating.” Lutzkanin disagrees, however, because he believes that physicians shouldn’t limit themselves to just what they’ve learned first-hand. As he sees it, the Internet holds an infinite wealth of knowledge — and to ignore it would be a disservice to doctors as well as patients.

They’re more socially aware than ever

Because millennials have grown up with social media in their personal lives, it stands to reason that they enjoy using it in their professional lives as well. Today’s healthcare professionals constantly look to Twitter to see which subjects their peers are passionate about, and to read the latest news on therapy breakthroughs.

But by the same token, they understand that some patients still prefer real face time over FaceTime.

Matthew Pflieger, DO, is a 35-year-old medical director at a community clinic in Denver, Colorado. He says he’s seen hospitals where physicians are so preoccupied with devices that they forget to connect with patients. “They walk in, and they’re already looking at the computer screen.”

They demand a better work-life balance

Yesterday’s healthcare professionals spent countless hours toiling at hospitals. Today’s HCPs, however, aren’t as eager to waste their precious time at work.

Some, like Lutzkanin, say that old-school doctors resent their need for more leisure time. According to him, many of these industry veterans view millennials as “lazy kids” whose unwillingness to work long hours shows a lack of commitment to the profession.

“I push back and say, ‘No, we see how overworked and frustrated many of you are, and we don’t want to do that,” he said. “We want a rewarding career, but one that doesn’t prevent us from doing other things we enjoy.”

They’re changing things from the patient side, too

HCPs aren’t the only ones turning traditional care models upside down. Millennial attitudes and preferences are also having a profound effect on how healthcare services are delivered.

Compared to just 31 percent of baby boomers, 59 percent of millennials prefer to receive care at a retail or acute care clinic instead of a physician’s office. And when millennials are dissatisfied, they aren’t shy about letting everyone know — 60 percent reported telling their friends about bad experiences, compared to around half of baby boomers.

These are just a few examples of how millennials are changing healthcare, for better or worse. Regardless, today’s hospitals can’t afford to ignore millennials’ demands any longer.

The good news is, no matter what generation you’re from, there’s never a bad time to advance your career at HealthCareerCenter.com. With thousands of open positions at the country’s top employers, our job boards offer opportunities for professionals of all experience levels.

 

The information in this article originally appeared on the Medical Economics website. To read the original article, click here.