Hundreds of articles, blogs, jokes, and rants have been written about generation gaps and the difficulties of different generations learning to work together.
As a physician who will be viewed as new to the workforce, we believe it is important to enter into your job search with an understanding and appreciation of the mindset of a hiring physician. We also want to equip you with tools on how you can navigate these differences to your advantage.
Most of the physicians you will meet in the interview/hiring process are the most senior physicians in the practice. They have been in practice a long time and have put a lot of work into building their practice. These physicians should be respected and admired for the work they’ve put in to the nephrology community; however, that does not mean that you do not bring new ideas and ways of practicing medicine that can propel an existing practice forward even further. Below are some of the common opposing viewpoints we tend to see most often and how to turn them in your favor.
Opposing Viewpoint #1: Work/Life Balance
Oftentimes the hiring physician began practicing during a time that it was expected to put ALL of your time into your practice, which often resulted in lacking a social life. This is normal to these physicians and some believe this is how it should still be today. If you are in an interview, make sure you show your respect for their work ethic and what they have accomplished.
This does not mean that you can’t value work/life balance as a new physician. Will you have to work hard? Absolutely. Can you still manage to be a nephrologist and have a fulfilling life outside of work? Yes. When you are interviewing, make sure you distinguish between work/life balance and being lazy. Reiterate that you are enthusiastic and willing to work hard at your new practice.
Understand too that you may not grow as quickly (or make as much money) as the last generation of physicians if you prioritize work/life balance. This is ok as having a good work/life balance may help keep you from burning out as a physician and will help keep you passionate about your career in medicine.
Opposing Viewpoint #2: Technology and New Study Findings
There is a reason that a practice you’re interviewing at is looking to expand the number of physicians they have. They are successful at what they do. And many of them became successful before all of the advanced tools and technology that we have access to today. Technology is second nature to many of you, but may seem foreign and potentially even scary to some experienced physicians.
When going into an interview make sure you have an open mind. Sure, technology and advances in modern medicine may make things easier today, but that doesn’t always mean it makes things better. A practicing physician has the years of experience to impart wisdom on to you just as you may be able to teach them a new thing or two about how to optimize the efficiency of a practice.
So what if the hiring physician isn’t willing to budge on listening to your ideas that may be new and foreign to them, but could help the overall practice and patient base? You have to remember that in looking for a practice to begin your career, you need to find a good fit for you. Not everyone is going to be open to your ideas, but we do think finding one that is, is worth holding out for.
Opposing Viewpoint #3: Contract Negotiation
In today’s job market it’s almost expected to receive an employment offer and go back to the practice with additional requests or changes to the contract. The difficulty is that some hiring physicians take offense to this. They may have been given a contract at the beginning of their career and were told to take it without pause.
It’s important when negotiating your contract that you are not making extravagant requests. Make sure that you’ve spoken with a professional (we recommend hiring a healthcare attorney – read our blog for more information) about what is standard in the industry. When you do submit any requests, make sure that you show your appreciation for the offer and present your requests in a polite and professional manner. You may not be granted all of your wishes in a contract, but if you go about it in the right way, and if the practice believes you will be a good addition to their team, you may be more likely to get some of what you’re asking for.
All of these generational mindsets boil down to one thing for you during your job search: understand what matters to you and then do the research (and call us at DaVita SOURCE) to make sure you have realistic expectations. Being informed and objective will help you negotiate and manage relationships with hiring physicians when you are looking for your new career. If you have other questions or examples of a generational differences you want to share with us, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.