In the opening keynote speech of the Medical Group Management Association's annual meeting in Las Vegas, Cam Marston, president of Mobile, Ala.-based Generational Insights, alternated between giving advice on how practices should cater to different generations of patients and performing a standup routine.
Speaker finds humor in generation gaps
Baby boomers and older patients are impressed by a doctor's credentials and expertise, Generation Xers demand proof that this expertise will somehow benefit them, and the youngest group, the under-31 group called the “Millenials,” want an immediate explanation of what a doctor will do for them now and in the future.
After asking the Millenials in the audience to raise their hands, Marston asked, “Remember those ‘Baby on Board' signs? They're raising their hands.”
Marston said this group now numbers 80 million. The Generation X group, those between 32 and 46, have only half the numbers and he joked that they are the “most cynical, most pessimistic” group. He told of how baby boomer parents raised the Generation X and Millenials to be individualistic—as opposed to the way they were raised, when “being special” had a different meaning.
He joked of how the baby boomers would be harangued by their parents, who asked them in an accusatory tone, “Do you think you're special or something?”
Marston added, however, that these were not trends but cycles of how generations are raised in times of economic hardship and affluence and said these same generational characteristics could be seen in 15th century Florence.
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