Background: Four distinct generations of physicians currently coexist within the emergency medicine (EM) workforce, each with its own unique life experience, perspective, attitude, and expectation of work and education. To the best of our knowledge, no investigations or consensus statements exist that specifically address the effect of intergenerational differences on undergraduate and graduate medical education in EM.
Objectives: To review the existing literature on generational differences as they pertain to workforce expectations, educational philosophy, and learning styles and to create a consensus statement based on the shared insights of experienced educators in EM, with specific recommendations to improve the effectiveness of EM residency training programs.
Methods: A group of approximately one hundred EM program directors (PDs), assistant PDs, and other academic faculty attending an annual conference of emergency physician (EP) educators gathered at a breakout session and working group to examine the literature on intergenerational differences, to share insights and discuss interventions tailored to address these stylistic differences, and to formulate consensus recommendations.
Results: A set of specific recommendations, including effective educational techniques, was created based on literature from other professions and medical disciplines, as well as the contributions of a diverse group of EP educators.
Conclusions: Recommendations included early establishment of clear expectations and consequences, emphasis on timely feedback and individualized guidance during training, explicit reinforcement of a patient-centered care model, use of peer modeling and support, and emphasis on more interactive and small-group learning techniques.