'OKAY BOOMER,' WHAT DO YOU THINK? 'Ve get so soon old und so late schmart.'.

Author:Orient, Jane M.

"Okay Boomer," you obviously are not "woke." To this boomer, it appears that the younger generation is blaming us for all the evil in the world, from their perch of "woke" moral superiority. They consider us to be out of touch and over the hill. According to Merriam-Webster, "woke" means "aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)." It went from being a black activist watchword to Internet slang.

It is apparent that there is a giant political divide in this country, partly, but not entirely, intergenerational. In my opinion, my generation bears a lot of blame, but probably not in the way that most millennial think. Waiting for us to die and get out of the way is not going to solve the problem--particularly in medicine.

There is one indisputable advantage I have as a Boomer. I have had the experience of being young; my younger patients have not experienced growing old. I know exactly what that cross-stitched embroidery on my wall means: "Ve get so soon old und so late schmart."

I was young and impressionable and passionately held some very ill-informed opinions. I did some stupid things--but did not do worse things because I had the benefit of learning something from older people's experience.

I had the inestimable advantage, which so many young people today lack, of having a traditional extended family. My mother was at home, running my father's contracting business. My grandparents lived next door. 1 played Scrabble with Grandma, and learned a little German from Grandpa. My father was home every night. I got some invaluable experience, not especially enjoyable at the time, by sweeping the floor and picking up bent nails at construction sites.

I received a nice head start because of my dad's hard work. It put me through medical school debt-free. Most millennials do not have the same advantage. Their daddies could not have learned skills like carpentry at home, or built a house by themselves, starting with the surveying and ditch-digging with pick and shovel. "Protective" regulations would have prevented it. They cannot build up savings as I could, when one could earn real interest and much less of one's paycheck was devoured by taxation.

Do millennials have the same chance to get into medical school as 1 did? It depends. The admissions process in my day generally was meritocratic even if not entirely fair. Today, the main emphasis is "diversity." Straight white males and...

To continue reading