The misconception that young physicians 'don't want to work that hard'

Each generation views the world differently, and there are some communication gaps administrators and systems have not yet bridged with younger physicians, Doug Bruce, MD, chief clinical integration officer at Cleveland-based MetroHealth, recently told Becker's.

Some new physicians are coming to the field wanting to work fewer hours; they are willing to make less money if it means having a more enjoyable life.

"We have to help administrators understand that times have changed," Dr. Bruce said. "We're in a post-pandemic world, and people coming out don't think it makes sense to work until you drop or work until you retire and you're now too old to enjoy your life. Residents want to enjoy some of that now. That's part of this big reconciliation that needs to happen."

Administrators tend to be from a different generation than the new physicians and clinicians entering the practice. Anytime someone does something different, a common response is to reject that practice, "but that's just not a good response," Dr. Bruce said. 

He added that right now, administrators and clinicians might be having the wrong conversation. 

"My plea is for people just leaving residency to have these conversations with administrators. Educate them about the why, because the assumption is, 'You don't want to work that hard,' which is not the issue. Help them understand that 'I'm happy to work hard when I'm here, I just don't want to be here all the time.'"

For Dr. Bruce, it is important for physicians and administrators to work together to find a happy medium. "We need these physicians as they're coming out and the nurse practitioners and the physician assistants and nurses. Everybody's looking to operate differently within the medical care environment. We need to be flexible and unfortunately that makes things more complicated. It's the reality. We really need to see a better connection between the generations."

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