Are you ready for millennials at work? Apparently they're already here

How Millennial physicians will impact disease management

Jaan Sidorov, MD a deceivingly bullish post on millennial physicians over at

The Millennial non-attitude about status or rank has implications for the hierarchical command and control that, up until now, has has been overseeing health system. No longer will a VP for Medical Affairs be able to assume young physicians will readily agree to taking “call” in evening outpatient clinics to off-load unnecessary emergency room visits. If a Grand Rounds speaker lacks sufficient eye-candied edutainment in PowerPoint, all the more reason for those young docs to skip out, grab some tofu and surf some YouTube. White coats will be optional and these docs will default to a first-name relationship with their patients.

Why deceivingly bullish? Reading the above passage you might think Sidorov's position is staunchly boomer, deeply rooted in the old myth that whatever generation comes next can't possibly be as hard working, determined, focused as those that came before.

To be sure, there's some of that in his post. So much of the flow of practice in a hospital depends on all parties buying in to the historic framework of how things have always been. Shake that up with med students that don't buy that line on some level and the status quo breaks down, falls apart, disintegrates. When patient care hinges on a status quo student and staffing process that is so fragile, it's no wonder the old school medical community is a touch on edge.

All that said, the millennial transformation at work offers several key benefits for organizations always at the ready for change.

They are technical, and they don't even know it. Millennial employees have an understanding of technology and communication tools which they didn't have to learn, they simply absorbed. They understand email, twitter, social networking and collaboration online at the genetic level, and have experience first hand how these tools make them more efficient communicators. No, they don't communicate the way we do, but don't mistake that for a lack of insight on their part

They are expert collaborators. Fueled by their technical experience, millennials have an innate understanding of what it takes to work together to achieve their objectives. While they might be stymied by an empty cubicle, give them a integration problem and a conference room, and their natural team dynamic takes hold with great positive results.

They have much to teach. If it were 1995, I would be able to make a joke about an 8-year-old setting the clock on the VCR right here. I haven't seen a VCR in years, but the millennials have the same experience to offer today as that 8-year-old of the 90's. They're quick studies, they love to play in the most constructive fashion, they are quick to the point and, most important of all, they really do work to live. There are reminders in the millennial work ethic that can make work better for all of us, if we're willing to listen.