Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Millenial Physician

In his July 13 Q&A session with Kristen Anderson, a young pollster for Republicans, Brian Lamb, who has been conducting Q &A on C-Span for 11 years, asked what and why millenials, aged 18 to 34, think the way they do and vote they way they do.

In her book, The Selfie-Voter: Where the Millenials Are Leading America (and How Republicans Can Keep Up (2015), Kristen explained many millenials think Republicans are too conservative and fixed in their ways. She added the millenials don’t want to repeat the mistakes of their parents who put too much trust in the establishment, be they in government or businesses.

Partly because of their high rate of unemployment and difficulty in finding well-paying jobs and their tech savvy, they tend to trust only with another and their social media connections with friends on the Internet. The social media and websites are where they get their news. The millennial vote, she believes, is up for grabs, but only if the Republicans concentrate their voting recruitment efforts online in the social media.

The Lamb interview got me to thinking how millennial physicians must feel. Most physicians finish their formal medical training by age 34, and they must share the beliefs of their compatriots. These young physicians often receive 100 or more job offers, mostly from hospital systems. About one half are women, and many are married to each other. They have an average educational debt of $150,000, and most are not interested in private practice. They are interested in paying off their debts and having a balanced life style. But they are diverse lot. Most are tech savvy, and most believe in the power and speed of the Internet to get news and gather medical information, and to evaluate , empower and interact with patients. They are passionate about innovation.

They are skeptical of ObamaCare for other millenials, but since for most, health benefits along with time off and malpractice coverage come with employment, they may not spend much time fretting about the health law.

If they are like other millenials, they probably covet open collaboration with their peers and patients, are culturally liberal in matters of sexual orientation, gay marriage, and ethnicity, and are open to the speed and convenience of the Internet in communicating with patients. They are diverse lot. It has not escaped their attention that the new rich are often online entrepreneurs aged 20 to 40, and they believe developing and applying new apps as the key to transforming medicine . Some are virtual physicians in Skype interviews with patients, some are engaged in home care and telemedicine outreach programs, some are engaged in using smart phones to monitor patients with wearable or implanted devices, others are developing algorithms for diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic use.

No comments: