The two dominant generations of practicing radiologists have similar workplace satisfaction and desired workplace characteristics, according to a study published online Dec. 12 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
Currently, the physician workforce is made up of members from four generations: the veteran generation, the baby boom generation (BG), generation X (GX), and generation Y. The study’s lead author, Andrew K. Moriarty, MD, of the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and colleagues wrote of the mixed generational members: “Each generational cohort brings unique skills, perspectives, and demands to the workplace that must be addressed in the appropriate context to maximize individual and practice productivity and prevent misunderstandings due to different expectations.”
The study’s authors thus decided to survey practicing BG and GX radiologists regarding common workplace motivators to identify factors associated with workplace satisfaction, as well as potential sources of intergenerational tension. An electronic survey was given to American College of Radiology, Society of Chairs of Academic Radiology Departments, and Association of Program Directors in Radiology members. Moriarty and colleagues received 1, 577 responses from BG and GX actively practicing radiologists. Nineteen workplace characteristics and their associations were analyzed in a univariate analysis.
Results indicated that workplace satisfaction was associated with the overall degree of difference in the desired versus expected age of retirement, staff diversity, social interactions in the workplace, amount of compensation, job security, professionalism of peers, and optimism for the overall future of radiology. Workplace satisfaction among BG and GX radiologists was 78 and 80 percent, respectively. BG radiologists who valued staff diversity were more satisfied, while GX radiologists who valued job security and amount of compensation were more satisfied. There was no significant association of satisfaction with generation, sex, practice setting, or additional administrative work.
“Practice managers should recognize that the potential for generational differences exists and that these differences could vary by sex or career stage,” the authors concluded. “Incentive and promotion structure could be optimized by interviewing individual radiologists for explicit workplace expectations, rather than basing such decisions on generalized principles.”