Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Feature Round Table

How can the NHS become a millennial friendly employer?

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 09 March 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k1095

Rapid Response:

The NHS has misunderstood millennials

I read with great interest this roundtable platform focused on enthusing younger doctors in the NHS and wanted to offer my perspective as a millennial (albeit towards the latter part of the cut off).

Whilst millennials are often perceived as work shy I would argue the opposite. Having spent time at medical school fascinated by pathology and presentation I immediately saw a mismatch between what was taught and the reality of day to day practice. Patients are admitted and treated by protocols. Any alternative thought is met by ‘just follow the protocol’. In this regard every chest pain is query ACS, every headache is CT/ LP, every collapse is query stroke and every hypoxia is query PE. After a while I wondered whether those years of learning complexity was actually relevant. As a generation that have grown up with technology we have been fortunate to learn anytime anywhere and with that learn different disciplines, not just medicine, but management, education, science, arts and so on. This pace of learning has meant millennials feel intellectually constrained in a protocol driven environment where often we are not learning or allowed to think.

The NHS needs to recognise that younger doctors are highly knowledgeable and skilled in many disciplines and placing them in an environment that hinders their capabilities will force them to look elsewhere.

Dr Neel Sharma

Competing interests: TASME Awards Lead, AMEE Postgraduate Committee Member

17 March 2018
Neel Sharma
Clinician Academic, TASME Awards Lead, AMEE Postgraduate Committee Member