November 24, 2015
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Are younger doctors (particularly age 40 and under) different in what they expect in terms of work-life balance?
Younger doctors definitely have different expectations in terms of work life balance but I believe this is not a “doctor mindset” but rather a “generation mindset”. For the longest time the older generation and the American philosophy has been “live to work”. The younger generation takes on more the life philosophy of “work to live”.
Many young doctors come from physician families where they saw and experienced (mostly) their fathers missing their major life events, leaving the dinner table to respond to an emergency situation or being on call frequently. But back then physicians also received greater financial reimbursements and it was a highly recognized profession.
Things have changed .
Interesting side note: When you look at professional choices you rarely find a child from an executive say, “I want to become an executive, just like my father.” You see these traditional choices of profession more so when it comes to medicine and sometimes skilled trades such as electrician, or plumber where the son helped in the father’s business and then takes over the business. And so they grew up and saw the rewards of the profession but also the pitfalls and many younger physicians don’t want to repeat certain mistakes their fathers made.
However, at the same time I always say that the priorities of a younger physician with 2 small children are different than the life priorities (hence importance of work-life balance) of a young, single physician or a physician who is in the mid 50’s and the kids are in college or already married. At the end work-life balance is nothing else than making time and being productive in the areas of life that matter so that they feel fulfilled in life and work.
About the Author: Iris Grimm is the creator of the Balanced Physician programs. She provides physicians a comprehensive support system to meet their unique work, life, and leadership challenges. For more information visit www.BalancedPhysician.com.