Laura Hills, DA
What happens when you find yourself working in your medical practice every day with co-workers who are the ages of your parents or children? Do you find yourself reverting to age-related roles? Do you become exasperated with or bewildered by the values and behaviors of older or younger colleagues? This article explores the challenges and opportunities the medical practice staff member faces when he or she is part of a multi-generational medical practice team. It describes the tensions that often occur when a medical practice staff runs the gamut from those who remember using a library card catalog and those who can’t remember the days before Google. It describes the core values, career goals, key formative events, and attitudes that may have shaped the thinking and behavior of the four generations that may work in the medical practice today: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. It suggests preferred communication and learning methods for staff members of different generations. Finally, this article offers 10 best practices for working in a multi-generational staff and for creating a supportive multi-generational medical practice culture.