Academic Medicine

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Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181acf408
Generational Forecasting in Academic Medicine

Generational Forecasting in Academic Medicine: A Unique Method of Planning for Success in the Next Two Decades

Howell, Lydia Pleotis MD; Joad, Jesse P. MD; Callahan, Edward PhD; Servis, Gregg MDiv; Bonham, Ann C. PhD

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Multigenerational teams are essential to the missions of academic health centers (AHCs). Generational forecasting using Strauss and Howe's predictive model, “the generational diagonal,” can be useful for anticipating and addressing issues so that each generation is effective. Forecasts are based on the observation that cyclical historical events are experienced by all generations, but the response of each generation differs according to its phase of life and previous defining experiences. This article relates Strauss and Howe's generational forecasts to AHCs. Predicted issues such as work–life balance, indebtedness, and succession planning have existed previously, but they now have different causes or consequences because of the unique experiences and life stages of current generations. Efforts to address these issues at the authors' AHC include a work–life balance workgroup, expanded leave, and intramural grants.

© 2009 Association of American Medical Colleges


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