The operative arena, and many other sites an anesthesiologist cohabitates, are abundant with generational experiences – working with a senior mentor, wiser and more experienced, or interacting and teaching a trainee, green and energized. They can manifest as a generational gap or an understanding from within. The encounters are fast, yet frequent and inherently require a consideration of each other’s desires and peeves. A review of the ever-growing millennial generation (born 1981 to 1999), in the setting of the millennial anesthesia resident and the millennial patient, benefits the modern anesthesiologist.

The millennial “individual” prioritizes education and challenges, values collaboration and knowing “why” first; they’re also regarded as impatient, demanding and having shorter attention spans. An analysis of letters of recommendation from general surgery residency applicants from 1973 to present day yielded several key differences between the early and...

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