This Is How You Know You're a Gen Y Doctor

09/30/2013 03:31 pm ET | Updated Nov 30, 2013

Generation Y is often criticized for our perplexing fetish for animal onesies, a sloth-like work ethic, and a disproportionate sense of self-worth.

I can't deny the onesies, but I take umbrage at the rest. The latest crop of hard-working professionals like bankers, lawyers and doctors, are all Gen Y now. Like it or not, we're putting our unique Gen Y stamp on our professions. (We're pretty confident we can do a better job than you, anyway.)

But don't reach for your heart pills yet, dear Boomers! Relax, my skeptical Gen X readers! I've made a careful anthropological survey of my fellow Gen Y docs, and the results aren't as alarming as you might fear.

How do you know you're a Gen Y doctor?

Let me tell you, as I sip on my fair-trade chai latte, and touch-type on my Macbook Air:

  1. You've actually used the word 'chillax' in a consultation.
  2. You'd like to save the world -- but only if you can do it part-time. How else will you manage your eco-solar-chookshed and your sustainable-organic vegetable patch?
  3. You play Words With Friends, not Sudoku, while you're anaesthetizing patients.
  4. The administration staff are amazed you can plug in a LAN cable. Or fix the printer. Or touch-type. Or, heaven forbid, SEND A FAX YOURSELF!
  5. You're planning a Locum Odyssey that entails surfing/working around the country for a few years. YOLO! (Also, you know what YOLO means.)
  6. You're not going to hang your diploma on your clinic wall. You're going to hang photos you took on your D-SLR of your hot-air-ballooning adventure over Myanmar, or your trek through the remote Nicaraguan jungle, or your windsurfing tour of the Maldives...
  7. You consult the Twittersphere, not the library, to find out about the most up-to-date medical research.
  8. You're considering early retirement after three years of full-time employment.
  9. You've never seen a case of Smallpox. Or Polio. Or Tuberculosis, Measles, Diphtheria, Tetanus... or pretty much any vaccine-preventable disease. (Unless you live in Northern NSW, that is.)
  10. If the Internet goes down, you might not remember how to be a doctor. See, you haven't bought any textbooks, because they go out of date before they hit the shelves these days. (Scary thought, that one...)

There you have it -- the future of medicine, Gen Y style. Who knows what further changes we'll bring to the medical profession? My hope is at the very least a more realistic work-life balance. Chillax, patients -- the Gen Y doctor's in the house, and your future is in safe hands.

Marlene Pearce writes a regular blog at, where a version of this piece first appeared.