7 Ways to Adapt Your Recruiting for Millennial and Gen Z Physicians

Posted by Doximity TF Team

7 Ways to Adapt Your Recruiting for Millennial and Gen Z PhysiciansMillennials and Gen Z physicians represent a significant demographic shift in the physician workforce. According to Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, approximately 35% of the current physician workforce are millennials, who made up the overwhelming majority (94%) of final-year residents and fellows in 2019, according to data from the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Since then, millennials have nearly taken over the entire group at 99%. The first wave of Gen Z doctors are also entering the workforce. Some of the oldest members of Gen Z are in their last year of medical school or are already licensed doctors in residency programs. 

How these doctors approach their careers – and medicine – differ from other generations. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers,  millennials and Gen Z prioritize work-life balance, seek meaningful careers, want educational and developmental opportunities, and value inclusivity and positivity at the workplace. According to MedCity News, Gen Z healthcare workers have different expectations and values than the workforce that preceded them. Gen Z workers want to work for employers who:

    • Put a greater emphasis on career growth and development.
    • Use the latest technology to improve patient care. 
    • Embrace diversity and create a welcoming environment for all employees. 
    • Recognize the importance of maintaining a work-life balance; Gen Z doesn’t want their professional lives to interfere with their personal lives.
    • Prioritize mental health and provide resources for mental wellness, such as counseling services and stress management resources.
    • Prioritize social responsibility and make a positive impact on the community and the environment.

Millennials and Gen Z generations are quickly making their mark in health care. Understanding their priorities and preferences is imperative to attract and retain these physicians. Here are a few tips and insights for recruiters. 

  1. Show physicians what you’re doing to help local communities. According to a Wolters Kluwer article, “Millennials desire value-based systems that extend beyond hospital walls and into community wellness.” Highlight your inclusive and community-oriented approach in your communications and show physicians how they can make an impact on historically marginalized patient populations. It can be a compelling reason for them to choose an organization.
  2. Invest in long-term relationships with early-stage physicians now. Building trust as a recruiter is about breaking the ice early on with physicians and building lasting relationships – make a point of keeping these relationships warm.
  3. Focus on the present and future. Millennial physicians typically think their career is a long, flexible path that allows them to acquire new skills as they go along. They want to grow as physicians and people, and they believe work training and development are part of that flexible career path. In other words, they don’t like to be fenced into right now but also their future. 
  4. Discuss and demonstrate your organization’s health equity and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. DEI is different from health equity (see next bullet). DEI is your organization’s internal efforts to improve clinician diversity, build an inclusive culture and establish equitable policies/practices. Millennials and Gen Z don’t just want diversity in the workplace – they expect it. Highlight how your organization addresses DEI in your job messaging by including a simple sentence or link to a website page you can include in physician communications.
  5. Show how your organization is addressing health equity, which ensures equitable clinical care and patient outcomes. Health equity is inherent to addressing all patients' health care needs, from language and culture to confidence and comfort. It also helps build trust and confidence in communities—especially rural communities.
  6. Set up calls or meetings with other physicians in the department or organization. Millennial physicians want and expect feedback and mentoring. Ted Epperly, M.D., president and CEO of Family Medicine Residency of Idaho in Boise, says: “They see the value of picking a senior person’s brain to help them be more efficient and more effective.” It also enables them to speak with someone other than a recruiter to get an authentic feel for the job. 
  7. Focus on the work-life balance your opportunity offers. An American Medical Association (AMA) survey found that 92 percent of millennial physicians rated work-life balance a top priority. Work and personal life are two different things for millennials, and having a work-life balance isn’t just about working hours and off hours. Millennial physicians want to contribute at work and grow as human beings. They don’t mind working, but they also value not being on call 24/7, flexible vacation time, and other perks. For physician recruiters, that means learning a millennial candidate’s professional and personal goals. Spotlight benefits like paid or unpaid time off for life events, on-site facilities, childcare, or mental health support.  
  8. Encourage physicians to share their ideas about medicine with you and others. You’ll learn much about their motivations and what they want in their medical career. Here’s an interesting example. Now a fourth-year resident, Stefan Huber, DO, plans to open his own private practice soon. He’s watching trends of millennial patients, who want different things from health care, including immediate access to transparent pricing information and more. To appeal to millennial patients, Dr. Huber says he’ll offer online scheduling and walk-in appointments, providing the instant gratification consumers find in other sectors – through Amazon, Uber, and H-E-B curbside pickup – alongside a lasting patient-physician relationship.

The ongoing arrival of millennial and Gen Z physicians also means that four generations of physicians are working side by side, creating a new dynamic for recruiting, training, communication, and more. What are you doing to adapt?  

If you’re not using Doximity Talent Finder to recruit physicians of all generations, we invite you to view a recording of a prior webinar, Doximity: Hiring on the Largest Medical Network. You’ll learn why physicians join Doximity, what they do on the network – and how you can leverage Talent Finder to achieve your recruiting goals,

Watch the Recording

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