What millennial physicians want to change in healthcare

June 13, 2019

A study of millennial physicians shows they are frustrated with administrative burdens and the pace of change in healthcare, and see technology that bolsters patient engagement as a key solution.

A study of millennial physicians, age 26-40, in both the U.S. and U.K. conducted by the Zeno Group shows they are frustrated with administrative burdens and the pace of change in healthcare, and see technology that bolsters patient engagement as a key solution.

More than three-quarters (79 percent) of millennial physicians interviewed in both countries said they are eager to lead the charge in healing healthcare. These physicians see improving relationships as key not only to enabling better clinical outcomes, but to restoring meaning to their own careers.

Young physicians broadly support the use of digital technology, especially direct mobile engagement, to improve the connection with patients and the day-to-day quality of medicine. 81 percent said digital communication between physicians and patients can impact the practice of medicine, while 59 percent said direct mobile engagement is already having an impact on day-to-day engagement with patients.

“Millennial doctors are passionate about reshaping their day-to-day experience to deliver better quality care while rediscovering what inspired them to become doctors in the first place,” Ame Wadler, managing director, Zeno Global Health, said in a press release. “They are hungry to learn from peers, driven by science and value technology, but strapped for time and hampered by outdated and bureaucratic ways of operating.”

The vast majority of respondents (81 percent) said they spend too much time on administration and not enough time caring for patients, while 62 percent say their autonomy and ability to practice medicine the way they want is in decline. The majority (77 percent) say that the practice of medicine is changing so quickly, it can be challenging to keep up.

Other findings include:

• 89 percent agree that it’s difficult to spend enough time with patients to develop personal relationships and make proper diagnoses.
• 47 percent say the doctor-patient relationship is getting somewhat worse or much worse.
• 51 percent feel the role of being a doctor will become increasingly less rewarding over the next two decades.

“This isn’t a matter of millennial doctors and their patients rejecting the healthcare system,” Wadler said. “Instead, they are demanding that it become more human, with the doctor-patient relationship back at the center of things where it belongs, but perhaps with a different approach to building connections.”