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Millennial trust is earned, not given


In this First Take, Kyle Matthews, CMPE, discusses how millennials are weary of traditional institutions. Once you work to gain millennials' trust, they can be very loyal to your

Millennials do  not trust you. And honestly, why would we? Current 18-to-35-year-olds have grown up hearing and seeing that Wall Street is greedy, politicians are corrupt, and in many cases our own lives have been shaken by layoffs and foreclosures as a result of corporate greed. So what does this mean to you as a physician or practice manager? Simply put, trust and respect are earned; your title alone is not enough.

Once you prove yourself as a mentor to someone in Generation Y, however, that distrust transforms into immense loyalty and respect. Remember that every challenge creates an  opportunity. Being a practice leader who follows your own rules and policies and builds up employees is not the traditional manager in the Generation Y mind. So be different. Show us that you actually care and actually want to teach us to be successful. Do that and you will tap into a generation that is resourceful, innovative, efficient, and ethical. 

The same can be said for Generation Y patients. Show patients the value your organization can bring them. While millennials are the pinnacle of efficiency, we also want medical providers to treat us as individuals and really connect on a personal level. Many millennials are covered by high-deductible health plans under which a routine office visit can cost hundreds of dollars. What are patients getting for that money? Is the provider sitting down and answering questions or is he or she staring at a computer screen trying to get documentation done so as to move on the next patient? Is the staff serving patients or making them feel like they are a burden by being there?


Older generations are more forgiving of these customer service sins than we are. Not only will we look for a more personable physician, we will make sure all of our friends know (usually via social media) to avoid your office. Yes, margins are tight and time is short. Bad news: Millennials do not care. That is why the retail healthcare market is booming. If you want to compete, you must give personal attention to this generation.

We get a bad reputation as Generation Y. The truth is, we are not that different; we just want to feel you actually value us as individuals. If you think about it, all generations of employees and patients deserve that. We will just call you out on it in a way that the whole world can see. 


Kyle Matthews, CMPE, is chief executive officer of Cardiovascular Associates of Mesa P.C. in Arizona and a millennial. Do you think you should have to earn millennials’ trust? Tell us at medec@advanstar.com.

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