Once upon a time a doctor first attended 3 or 4 years of college, then finished 3 or 4 years of medical school, trudged through 1 to 8 years of residency training to hang out “a shingle,” and finally begin to practice medicine, usually in solo practice. Those days are long gone. Time has expanded—schooling and training are longer.
Breaks are taken between and during this once but no longer traditional pathway.
The medical field has expanded. Knowledge and technology have changed rote memorization learning of material to learning how to learn over a lifetime of expected change.
Expectations for a full life have expanded. Younger physicians don’t want to lockstep their way through their career and their lives, looking neither left nor right. They expect more choice and options. They expect work-life integration to fit a much longer career arc, often punctuated by several career moves and personally gratifying journeys.
With this expansion, experimentation in one’s career path has become a natural process. Learning new skills is a constant; adapting to new environments is mandatory.
But is the healthcare workplace environment ready to adapt? Probably not as well as it could or should.
Here are five critical ways the modern healthcare workplace can adapt to this rapidly evolving healthcare workforce: