Lara Kerwin, PharmD and Roxane Took, PharmD
Millennial Assistant Professors of Pharmacy Practice at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy
The “411” on Millennials
...as People:Students of the “Millennial Generation” are born between the years of 1980-2000. This group also goes by the name of “Gen Y,” “Nexters,” and the “Me, Me, Me Generation.”1-3 Historic events that have occurred during and impacted the way they view the world include September 11th, 2001; legalization of gay marriage, and the election of the first African American president of the United States of America. Millennials have grown up in the age of technology. They have a reputation for being lazy, entitled narcissists who “live with their parents but will save us all!”1
Millennial students are goal-oriented multi-taskers. They want context and to understand purpose behind the task at hand.3,4,14 They care more about collaborative, active learning in groups than studying. These learners may be needy for feedback and anticipate immediate responses from their instructors. Millennials appreciate scheduling flexibility as well as customization of learning experiences to their goals and interests.3-5 Having a strong predisposition toward praise for any work and that they do contributes to the generalization that Millennials have poor work ethic, lack critical thinking skills, and have a superficial awareness of self.6
Precepting Millennials with Intention Several effective approaches to training Millennial learners in the experiential setting have been described:
Table 1. Anticipated Challenges and Proposed Solutions for Precepting Millennials10-12,14
1. Stein J. Millennials: the me, me, me generation. Time. May 2013. http://time.com/247/millennials-the-me-me-me-generation/.
2. Gardner SF. Preparing for the nexters. Am J Pharm Educ. 2006;70(4):Article 87.
3. Boysen PG, Daste L, Northern T. Multigenerational challenges and the future of graduate medical education. Ochsner J. 2016;16(1):101-107.
4. Dilullo C, Mcgee P, Kriebel RM. Demystifying the millennial student: a reassessment in measures of character and engagement in professional education. Anat Sci Educ. 2011;4(July/August):214-226. doi:10.1002/ase.240.
5. Preceptor Newsletter. http://news.pharmacy.vcu.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/3395/2014/01/Newsletter_Vol_10_Issue_1_Winter_Spr_2014.pdf. Published 2014.
6. Fjortoft N. The selfie generation and pharmacy education. Am J Pharm Educ. 2017;81(4):Article 61.
7. Weitzel KW, Walters EA, Taylor J. Teaching clinical problem solving: a preceptor’s guide. Am J Heal Pharm. 2012;69(18):1588-1599. doi:10.2146/ajhp110521.
8. Sylvia L, Barr J. What matters in a student-centered approach? In: Pharmacy Education: What Matters in Learning and Teaching. Sundbury: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2011:25-56.
9. Case Di Leonardi B, Gulanick M. Precepting and diversity: focus on cultural and generational differences. In: Precepting Graduate Students in the Clinical Setting. Chicago; 2008:83-99.
10. Nevin CR, Westfall AO, Rodriguez JM, et al. Gamification as a tool for enhancing graduate medical education. Postgrad Med J. 2014;90:685-693. doi:10.1136/postgradmedj-2013-132486.
11. Desy JR, Mph DAR, Wolanskyj AP. Milestones and millennials: a perfect pairing--competency-based medical education and the learning preferences of generation Y. Mayo Clin Proc. 2017;92(2):243-250. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2016.10.026.
12. Meister J, Willyerd K. Mentoring Millennials. Harv Bus Rev. 2010;(May).
13. Cuellar L, Ginsburg D. Preceptor’s Handbook for Pharmacists. 3rd ed. Bethesda: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists; 2016.
14. Roberts DH, Newman LR, Schwartzstein RM. Twelve tips for facilitating millennials’ learning. Med Teach. 2012;34:274-278. doi:10.3109/0142159X.2011.613498.