Millennials – individuals who were born between 1981 and 1995, have made a humongous metamorphosing influence on the way we think and lead lives – personally and professionally. As most millennial medical students turned specialists in this decade and more will by the turn of it, it will be interesting to think how a millennial doctor will approach a millennial patient in clinical practice, and the manner in which this equation will unfold to reshape this facet of healthcare
Medical Information – Problem of Plenty
Veterans in medicine still vouch that libraries of med schools were no less than gold mines of medical knowledge. Since then, we have certainly come a long way. The millennial doctor has every information available digitally just fingertips away. His dilemma will not be about sourcing information, but sieving out data which is correct and unbiased.
Apps competing with Art
While contemporary medicine basks of the charisma of eloquent bedside manners and values doctor-patient relationships, the millennial doctor may find himself busy feeding data into the software, which seems worthwhile from research and medico-legal standpoint. But will apps take away some quality time from attending the patient? Will it affect patient satisfaction? How will we strike balance? Only time will tell.
Super Specialist over Generalist
It’s a competitive world and millennials, fairly justifying their innate aspirations will strive towards super-specialisations constantly trying to raise the bars to improvise patient care through ambitious therapeutic goals in the light of complex heterogeneous faces of diseases. However, a super-specialist may likely be sometimes rendered in an awkward position of knowing more and more about specifics whilst evolving to have a blurring sight towards looking the whole patient as a single system – an enviable skill of which a seasoned internal medicine specialist will be mighty proud of.
Changing Perceptions of Healthcare in India
Dare I say that the public perception of hospitals and doctors have taken discouraging turns over the past few years. As a millennial myself growing up witnessing massive outburst on social media after a whistleblowing episode on doctors went on air, which led to the beginning of an era taking shape of seemingly less glamourous perception of healthcare professionals in this country. Clinicians may witness less gratifying times in such milieu.
A Millennial patient – victim of lifestyle diseases; will be a confident, impatient, fickle-minded individual, and more so in suffering. He’ll be more aware, well-read, not infrequently misread about his illness; with an almost pervasive co-morbidity in the form of “googlopathy”
Such traits will drive intense feeling of seeking charge and self-discretion to evaluate therapeutic interventions which are expected to be shared (not just prescribed) to them, culminating into more doctor shopping, in aspiration of informed decision making more than ever before.
While technology has taken huge strides in healthcare, it will be a great time to be practising medicine amidst the emergence of CGMS, ABPM, extensive promise in artificial intelligence, coronary imaging, immunotherapies, and performing ultra-complex surgeries through robotic advancements. We have gathered accolades across major domains – screening, diagnosis and management.
However, in the current landscape, millennial doctor-patient relationships will likely demand as much conventional as classy, and as much sensitive as a sensational approach in practice – communicate, educate, inform, engage in decision making and rekindle the trust.
Millennial doctors too, like all millennials, won’t fail to pleasantly surprise us!!
Sahith Reddy Madara, Future of millennial generations: A review, URL: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325912221
The author, Dr Jeegar P Dattani is a guest columnist with Medical Dialogues and specializes in health communications and training. His areas of interest include Evidence-Based Lifestyle Interventions and Latest Innovative Medical Updates.