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January 2007

Awareness of Generational Differences Is the First Step

Arch Dermatol. 2007;143(1):115-126. doi:10.1001/archderm.143.1.120-b

In the article “Mind the Gap”1 in a recent issue of the ARCHIVES, the authors summarize the characteristics and conflicting values of generation Xers and baby boomers and suggest some principles to keep in mind that might promote harmony and collegiality between generations at work. Their advice is timely and valuable, but unfortunately, it has been our experience that those most involved in generational conflicts during dermatology residency training seem oblivious to the source of the differences that cause these conflicts. Senior faculty members constantly complain that residents lack dedication and commitment, and residents are increasingly dissatisfied with dictatorial leadership styles. Neither side seems willing or capable of understanding the other; conflicts are widespread; and professional relationships suffer.

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