Could generation Z offer more to radiology than millennials?

Generation Z—including individuals currently between the ages of 18 and 22—often have more in common with Generation X than Millennials, according to Steven Rowe, MD, PhD, a radiologist at Johns Hopkins University of Medicine and colleagues in an editorial published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. Gen Z may offer new kinds of benefits to the ever-evolving field of radiology.

Those in Generation Z tend to be practical, job-driven and purpose seeking. They place an emphasis on self-care and are early adopters of artificial intelligence (AI). For these reasons, healthcare should "strategically place" members of Generation Z in employment positions that will "help steer the ship in new directions," according to the authors. 

"Large hospital systems often have huge amounts of important content but knowing how to get that content to the people who need it is an evolving process," Rowe et al. wrote. "Nimbly responding to changing trends is difficult for any large entity such as a health care system, but strategically placing members of Generation Z in the right positions may be helpful." 

Healthcare providers should be cognizant of Generation Z’s evolving attitudes about spirituality and religion, company purpose, technology, an elevated sense of trust and the rise of fake news and the #MeToo movement. 

"Radiology must become more proactive in meeting the needs of Generation Z. Not only are the members of Generation Z going to be responsible for their own health care, but they will inevitably be involved in the health care of elderly relatives, even to the extent that they may become the focal point for ensuring proper health care for their families," the authors wrote.