A Dentist’s Guide to Millennials (And How They Think)
Everyone is fascinated (and maybe a little terrified) by the generation of millennials. We’re here to demystify this unpredictable group of young adults and how they can affect the dental profession.
Did Someone Say Narcissistic?
They’re known for containing equal parts ambition and laziness, for a predilection toward immaturity, and for maintaining a solid ability to revitalize old ways of thinking.
At this moment, a millennial could be anyone from the eager dentist you met at a recent CE course to the new partner you’re thinking of bringing into the practice. They could be the young hygienist or dental assistant you want to hire. They could be your favorite ceramist or a potential patient. Or they could even be you.
Dentists are not unaffected by the millennial phenomena. And as such, it behooves us all to get to know this broad age group and the kind-of-not-always-accurate qualities attached to them.
A Simple Guide to Millennials
There’s no definite birthdate that defines a person as a millennial. Some believe it’s anyone born between 1980 and 2000, but that’s up for debate.
All you need to know is that a millennial is more a state of mind than it is a good way of defining a subset of the population. Here are some valuable tips for encountering “millennials” in the dental profession:
Technology and Ambition
The so-called narcissistic generation may not have grown up with social media and iPhones, but they were certainly young enough at the introduction of recent technology to be masters at using it.
Need to take your practice from the stone age to the 21st century? A millennial could be the perfect person for the job …
Openness to New Ideas
Born in a time of extreme political, social, and economic change, millennials are used to the collision of popular culture and real world innovation.
They may be known for childishness, but they can also be more open to new ideas and can bring interesting perspectives to classic techniques or business models.
Entitled and Selfish?
This one’s a bit more difficult to speak to. Do millennials expect more for doing less?
It’s a possibility, but it’s a possibility that’s not limited to this age group. Our advice: Take everything you hear with a grain of salt.
Millennials signify change, which is something that is inherently difficult to reconcile in all professions. They are capable of changing how we communicate, how we work, how we hire, and how we treat patients.
What do you think about millennials and the dental profession? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!