Reaching and Teaching Millennial Learners

Presented by David H. Roberts on September 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Generations are groups of individuals who are born or live at the same time and who share experiences and environmental influences by virtue of similar age. By extension and as a result of these shared experiences and environment, these groups often share attitudes, ideas, values, styles and problems.

In the US over the last nearly 100 years, there have been several distinct generations, commonly known as the “Silent” generation, the “Baby Boomers”, the Generation X, and now the “Millennial” Generation. Each generation has its own set of characteristics, defining moments and values, and shared conflicts and achievements.

These generational characteristics have had and continue to have significant influences on teaching and learning at all pedagogic levels. The current generation poses a new set of challenges and opportunities for medical educators. This session will review those challenges, including the growing body of literature about digital professionalism as well as the opportunities, including specific strategies for educators to enhance teaching and learning for Millennial trainees.

Seminar Archive

Presenter Bios

David H. RobertsDavid H. Roberts, MD is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Associate Director of the Shapiro Institute for Education and Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Director of the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education, and Director of the BIDMC Academy of Medical Educators. Dr. Roberts is also the Associate Director of the Academy at HMS.

Dr. Roberts teaches medical students across the four years of HMS training and is course director for the 3rd year longitudinal Principal Clinical Experience (PCE) at BIDMC. Dr. Roberts also teaches residents, fellows and other physicians in practice, and he is a graduate of the Rabkin Fellowship in Medical Education and Harvard-Macy Program for Educators in Health Professions.

Dr. Roberts’ education research interests include studying learners’ curiosity and critical thinking skills. Dr. Roberts serves on the National Education Committees for the American Thoracic Society and the American College of Chest Physicians. He also co-directs the annual Harvard CME course “Principles of Medical Education: Maximizing your Teaching Skills.”

Dr. Roberts has won many teaching awards including “Teacher of the Year” (2005) in the Combined Harvard Program in Pulmonary Medicine, HMS Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching (2006), the S. Robert Stone Award for Excellence in Teaching at Harvard Medical School and BIDMC (2007) and the HMS Best Clinical Instructor at BIDMC (2010).

Dr. Roberts is the Director of Faculty Development for the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at BIDMC, and his clinical practice is focused on patients with dyspnea and pulmonary hypertension. Dr. Roberts co-authored the patient education website,, and free downloadable iBook “Pulmonary Hypertension” which utilizes interactive animations to teach patients about pulmonary hypertension.