The Great Generational Divide: Getting to Know Generation X

We’ve already talked about the Traditionalists and the Baby Boomers in this blog. Now let’s get to know Generation X a little bit better. Generation X is the group between the Baby Boomers and the Millennials. They were born between 1965 and 1980, and are currently age 39-54.

Common Characteristics

While they are a diverse group, here are some common Gen X traits:

  • Because of the reduced adult supervision they received as children compared to previous generations (thanks to increased divorce rates and more moms joining the workforce), they have been labeled the “latchkey kids” and are known for being “street smart.”
  • Known for being independent, skeptical of authority, cynical, resourceful, practical and wary of commitment.
  • Tend to be highly educated, ambitious, hard-working and entrepreneurial.
  • Known for being savvy consumers, they use the Internet to research before purchasing anything.
  • Typically have a high degree of brand loyalty once you win them over.
  • Are results-driven. Use straight talk and present facts. 
  • Prefer e-mail.
  • The group most likely to share content on social media and prefer Facebook and LinkedIn. 


So what does all of this mean for your practice? How can you meet the needs of Generation X?

  • Involve them in decisions about their care. Thoroughly explain options, listen to their ideas, answer questions and allow them to feel ownership of their care plan.
  • Provide a current, dynamic and responsive web site.
  • Share data and outcomes about your practice in your marketing and communication to them. This can be clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction ratings, etc.
  • Respect their time. Be prompt with appointments and answering and returning phone calls, emails, etc.
  • Recognize and reward their loyalty. Know who your long-term patients and referral sources are and don’t forget about them or take them for granted.
  • Stay active on social media. Share timely articles and information about your practice, new treatment options, helpful health tips, etc.

Take Action

What other ideas can your team come up with? Brainstorm ways to enhance service and communication for your Gen X patients. And don’t forget about your referral sources — a large number of whom also probably fall into this generational group.

In our next blog post, we’ll look at Millennials.