Perspectives of Dermatology Faculty Toward Millennial Trainees and Colleagues: A National Survey

Mayo Clin Proc Innov Qual Outcomes. 2020 Nov 19;5(1):65-71. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocpiqo.2020.09.003. eCollection 2021 Feb.


Objective: To assess the attitudes and beliefs of faculty dermatologists regarding perceived characteristics of millennial trainees and colleagues.

Participants and methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of dermatology physician-educators listed in the Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database from August 1, 2019, to October 31, 2019. This survey consisted of 26 items (5-point Likert scales) representing positive, negative, and neutral millennial stereotypes relevant to graduate medical education. Participants' responses were analyzed using the chi-squared goodness of fit test with dichotomized data.

Results: Seventy-six dermatology physician-educators participated in the national survey. A statistically significant response pattern was seen in 18 of 26 (69%) tested stereotypes. Positive judgments included denial of hesitations about working with millennials (P = .038) and agreement with the notions that millennials are technologically savvy (P < .001), socially just (P < .001), equally capable dermatologists as other generations (P < .001), enjoyable to work with (P < .001), easy to connect with interpersonally (P < .001), and promising future leaders of medicine (P = .039). Negative judgments included perceptions of the word millennial as a pejorative (P < .001) and of millennials being relatively entitled (P < .001), overly sensitive to feedback (P < .001), less polite (P < .001), and less hard-working (P < .001) compared with prior generations.

Conclusion: This study represents the first national survey of the attitudes and perspectives of dermatology physician-educators regarding perceived characteristics of millennial trainees and colleagues. Our results suggest that dermatology faculty endorse various positive, negative, and neutral stereotypes regarding Generation Y. Early recognition of implicit biases can inform curricular design and prepare educators to address generational gaps in medical education.