Gen Y and You: Millennials want more engagement. MD is listening and delivering.
Medical students and residents, most part of the Millennial generation or Gen Y, have commented in the past that they wanted more engagement from MD and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA).
At a special MD Information Session “Gen Y and You” moderated by the Canadian Federation of Medical Students President, Bryce Durafourt, and held prior to the CMA Annual General Council, MD listened to the feedback and took some time to gain insight directly from medical students and residents to understand their needs and the types of services that would best meet those needs.
“We spent a long time thinking about the student demographic and how to best service these clients,” said Paul Mason, Executive Vice President of Technology and Operations at MD. “We developed channels that enable us to have productive conversations, connect with more clients and discover what they need—and then find ways to best service those needs.”
One way MD is hoping to assist students manage the often substantial debt incurred in achieving a medical education is through the program Docs Funding Docs. Still in the development phase, this offering would enable established physicians to invest in students to help lessen their financial burden and set them on a successful career path.
Students and residents welcomed MD’s efforts to communicate and cater to their needs. Specific praise was given to MD’s increased presence on social media.
“Social media now plays a huge part in how MD connects with students and residents,” said Mason. “We also considered how we could best offer services that are convenient to this demographic, given that medical students often live in diverse and sometimes remote pockets of the country, and decided to provide access to MD Apertura, MD’s secure web-based virtual meeting service.”
MD recently entered into a collaborative partnership with the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) that makes MD the exclusive financial services’ partner of the CFMS and provides MD with a better understanding of students’ needs—and how to meet them.
“MD is pleased to be working together with the CFMS to provide even better support to Canadian medical students,” said Mike Gassewitz, Executive Vice President of Member Solutions at MD. Medical students can benefit from MD's specialized network of advisors who are dedicated to addressing the financial needs and goals of medical students, including advice about how to finance medical education while minimizing debt. As a CMA company, MD is dedicated to meeting physicians’ financial needs throughout their lives and careers, and this starts in medical school. The partnership with CFMS will enable MD to help more medical students take the worry out of their finances and start their careers on the best possible financial footing, leaving them able to focus on their studies.
Anthea Lafreniere, Vice President of Communications and incoming CFMS president, stressed how important it was for students to continue to provide feedback to MD to ensure a strong, collaborative relationship between the two organizations. And, honest feedback was certainly provided by many in attendance.
An early-career physician said the continuous divide between millennials and all other age groups, is discouraging despite the positive efforts of MD and the CMA. Another stated that segregating women and men--referencing the Financial Planning for Female Physicians Luncheon held the same day—was not representative of millennials’ views about the practice of medicine and the evolving family unit. Dr. Suzanne Strasberg, Chair of MD Financial Holdings Board of Directors, responded that she understood the point of view but also cited the positive feedback MD has received from attendees, reinforcing the need for these types events stating, “It’s not an ‘either – or”.
In welcoming the full and frank discussion, Dr. Strasberg reinforced MD’s ultimate mission, “The Board and MD believe that it’s crucial for us to be able to meet the financial-service requirements of all Canadian physicians-regardless of age or gender—at all career and life stages. We’ll continue to ensure that all our clients are served equally well.”