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:
- You've actually used the word 'chillax' in a consultation.
- 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?
- You play Words With Friends, not Sudoku, while you're anaesthetizing patients.
- 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!
- You're planning a Locum Odyssey that entails surfing/working around the country for a few years. YOLO! (Also, you know what YOLO means.)
- 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...
- You consult the Twittersphere, not the library, to find out about the most up-to-date medical research.
- You're considering early retirement after three years of full-time employment.
- 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.)
- 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 See, you haven't bought any textbooks, because they go out of date before they hit the shelves these days.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.