Throughout the years, the field of medicine has evolved due to medical advancements and innovations. While the healthcare industry continues to flourish, the quality of life for physicians on the front lines of patient care remains unsatisfactory. For years, physicians have experienced burnout as a result of long hours, too much charting, and an unbalanced work-life balance. While physicians have voiced concern about the state of practicing medicine, millennial doctors may change the medical industry altogether.
Millennial Characteristics Vs. The Current State of the Medical Industry
Millennials are known for desiring flexibility and a great work-life balance, needing to feel like their work is valuable, and diversity. While these characteristics are admirable, the current state of medicine will have to change to adapt to the needs of millennial doctors if it hopes to retain them and not contribute more to the physician shortage.
Flexibility and Work-Life Balance
Many doctors today cite a lack of flexibility and balance between their professional and personal life as a reason for being unsatisfied in their profession. According to the American Medical Association, 92% of millennial doctors say work-life balance is a priority. Janet Young, M.D., mentions that eventually, candidates will call the shots over employers and that employers should start preparing now. Dr. Young suggests employers should focus on provider wellness by creating a culture that offers family leave, compassionate leave, and personal renewal. Each of these suggestions can help millennial doctors feel like they are achieving a better work-life balance and help them maintain satisfaction in their careers.
Value in Work
Millennials do not just want to find a job — they want to find the right job. They want to be satisfied with their work and feel excited and motivated by caring for patients and forming meaningful relationships. However, the current state of the medical industry has only 14% of physicians feeling like they spend enough time with patients, and patients agree that they are not spending enough time with their doctors. The medical industry needs to address the lack of satisfaction on both sides to retain both patients and providers.
Not only do millennials value diversity, but they are a diverse group in the medical industry, not just racially, but in gender as well. 61% of physicians under the age of 35 are women. Diversity is a great thing, but for years women in medicine have experienced a gender wage gap. Hopefully, with more women becoming physicians, the industry will realize they need to compensate men and women equally and increase the pay for women physicians.
While it will not happen overnight, millennial doctors have the desire and characteristics to change the medical industry to fit the needs of physicians nationwide. They can work with employers to create a better work-life balance, find ways to get more face time with patients, and help get rid of the gender wage gap.
In the meantime, if you are a physician looking for more flexibility, higher pay, and a better work-life balance, locum tenens work may be right for you. Contact a recruiter today to learn more.