Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, are quickly becoming the dominant demographic and changing the face of healthcare. The generation comprises more than 80 million Americans, and by 2025 they will account for 75 percent of the world’s workforce.
Known for their tech savvy, self-confidence and innovation, millennial doctors are bringing new ideas and philosophies that are changing the dynamic of hospitals and private practices and challenging the long-held rules governing a physician’s lifestyle.
In today’s competitive job market, facilities need to adapt in order to stand out among the crowd of potential employers. Here are a few tips to help your facility attract and retain top millennial physicians.
What Are Millennial Docs Looking for?
Before you can entice millennial doctors to work at your facility, you first need to understand what they are looking for from an employer.
Millennials are less willing to sacrifice their family and personal time. Instead, they are looking for employers that understand the importance of providing a better work/life balance. To attain a more flexible schedule, many residents are opting for lifestyle-friendly specialties and some physicians are even considering working part time, allowing them to pursue personal interests outside of medicine.
If offering physicians part-time work may not be feasible for your facility, don't worry, that isn’t the only way to incorporate a culture focused on work/life balance. Consider implementing job sharing and adding more NPs and PAs to help cover the patient load, giving physicians the opportunity to have flexible hours and to enjoy their time off without work distractions.
Encouraging physicians to have a better work/life balance will reduce their stress, increase their happiness and help stem physician burnout
— all of which benefits your facility and patients.
RELATED: Avoiding Burnout and Achieving Career Satisfaction
Millennials are the first generation to grow up with cell phones, computers, internet and social media as fundamental components of their daily lives, making this group more technologically savvy than any previous generation.
These digital natives are more at ease with the newest healthcare technology and prefer using electronic medical records (EMR) over paper charts. In fact, 79 percent of millennial doctors
say they’d rather use EMR for charting and documentation. Plus, integrating technology in your office, like EMR or apps, not only fulfills the tech needs of millennial physicians, but also allows them to do work outside the office, offering another way for them to have flexible schedules.
No longer are the majority of physicians opting to open their own private practice, instead the number of doctors employed by hospitals has doubled over the last ten years. When millennial doctors were asked if they’d prefer to be an employee or independent contractor, 68 percent chose employee status
A recent Medscape study
found that though a physician’s happiness may not necessarily improve based solely on her employee status, work/life balance does. More than half of the study’s 4,600 respondents reported that work/life balance improved after taking an employed position, which continues to be an important indicator of career satisfaction, especially for young doctors. Typically, employed physicians work shorter and more regular hours, allowing for a lifestyle that leaves room for personal time — something that is a priority for millennials.
RELATED: Who’s Happier: Employed or Private Practice Physicians?
How to Retain Millennial Docs
Knowing what millennial physicians are looking for is only half the battle. Retaining any employee, not just millennials, is the real challenge. Here are a few things you can do to create a positive workplace culture that your staff, patients and bottom line will all benefit from.
Communication Is Key
Open, transparent communication is an essential component to creating a facility your staff will want to work at. Transparency is especially important to millennials, who’ve grown up in the information age where most answers are literally at their fingertips. It's important to be upfront and openly communicate not only the what, but the why behind your decisions.
RELATED: Stop Making Your Team Read Your Mind: How to Set Clear Expectations
Hire for Culture Fit
Before hiring a physician, give him a tour of your facility and introduce him to the team he’ll work with. If possible, have him spend half a day shadowing another physician to get a feel of what the job entails and get to know his coworkers. This will help you determine if the physician is a good culture fit, and the physician can make an informed decision on whether or not the job is a right fit for him. Ensuring the doctor is a good culture fit before he commits to a multi-year contract will benefit the both of you.
Use Mentorship Programs
Create a mentorship program that pairs up a millennial doctor with a more tenured physician at your facility. Each physician has valuable knowledge and unique experiences that benefit the other. In addition, valuing each physician’s expertise and insights creates a collaborative environment that could lead to innovative thinking and results.
The landscape of medicine is changing. If you want to attract the next generation’s top talent you’ll have to be flexible and adapt to the changes by encouraging work/life balance, embracing a culture of transparency and staying up-to-date on the latest technology.