NOTE: The following is an excerpt from TeleVox’s Healthy World report, “Technology Beyond the Exam Room”, which illustrates that as digital technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous in American culture, a higher prevalence of its usage should be expected within our healthcare system. Download it HERE!
When selecting a doctor, a number of thoughts run through a patient’s mind. What location would be best? Do I prefer male or female? Should I choose a doctor who is older or younger?
When patients consider the age of their doctor, arguments such as “younger doctors will have the latest information versus older doctors will be more experienced and wiser” may roll around in their minds. These thoughts may seem like generalizations, but when it comes to high-tech engagement, patients must consider what effect their doctor’s age will have on the communication they receive throughout their treatment.
Using such forms of digital technology as cell phones and computers may be second nature to a young doctor or emerging medical student. Similarly, older doctors may have been practicing their own methods of communication and treatment for years or decades. But as new technology continues to transform healthcare, and patients begin to rely on updates via text, email and voicemail, it’s becoming essential for more mature doctors to take note of their younger colleagues’ high-tech skills.
In an article published by the American Medical Association, Pamela Lewis Dolan wrote that, “Younger doctors who grew up using technology are stepping up to help the older generation adapt to information technology, social media and smartphones.” This is becoming known as “reverse mentoring.”
“Even though older physicians have been found to be the least likely to adopt an electronic medical record system, it’s not because they’re averse to technology, analysts say. It’s likely that their experience may have taught them not to be so quick to cling to a new fad, or spend money on something that will make them less efficient. But if you offer them something they think will make them better doctors, they will use it enthusiastically.”
— “Older Doctors a Lot More Tech-Savvy Than Many Think” by Pamela Lewis Dolan
Choosing a healthcare provider is one of the most important decisions a patient and their family will make during the course of their lives. Consumers are quickly learning that age is a non-issue when searching for a physician who will provide the high-tech engagement they require.