Session Preview: Millennials in Medicine – Good or Bad for Health?

Written by Megan Collyer | Tuesday, Dec 15, 2015

Photo courtesy of speaker. Session Previews, previously known as Session Spotlights, are back for the 2016 season! For the third year in a row, we’re happy to use this blog to bring you a sneak peek of our speakers for the SXSW Interactive Festival. Each week, we’ll interview a few of our unique and talented SXSW speakers about their sessions, personal goals and achievements, and their opinions on pop culture. We hope you enjoy these features and find them to be useful in planning your schedule of “must-see” events for the 2016 Festival in March.

Rockville, Maryland resident, Andrey Ostrovsky, MD, knows a thing or two about medicine. While in residency, he grew a digital health company and published a report on digital health innovation. Since then, he’s become an attending physician that currently practices and runs a software company that's saved Medicare nearly $10 million. Follow Andrey on Twitter @andreyostrovksy.

SXSW: Welcome back to SXSW, Andrey! You’ve presented here a number of times before – what makes you keep coming back?
Ostrovsky: I have presented the past 3 years as a moderator or a panelist. I keep returning because SXSW is the equivalent of the modern-day renaissance. Smart-doers discussing and debating how they will change the world, is the ultimate form of enlightenment. With two cocktails and cowboy boots, it’s even better!

SXSW: We agree. Glad to have you back. Let’s talk about your session. Can you tell our readers what you’re going to talk about this year?
Ostrovsky: The Millennial generation will produce the largest number of doctors in history, but many of them will never practice medicine. At Stanford Medical School for example, only 2/3 of graduating students go on to residency. Increasing numbers [of students] are devoting their time to business, policy or other leadership pursuits outside the clinical realm. We will discuss whether that’s because of disillusionment with the job, or something else? We’ll talk about the impact on patient care and health care innovation will be, too. This panel of leading Millennial physician-innovators will offer a provocative prognosis for the future of the United States’ healthcare, and debate the net value of physicians disrupting rather than providing healthcare.

SXSW: Sounds interesting. Knowing the types of people who come to SXSW, who would you recommend to sit in on your session?
Ostrovsky: Investors, policy makers, medical students, clinicians and leaders in healthcare, who want to participate in the discussion about the changing face of medicine will enjoy our talk. Our panel is going to provide unique insights into new business opportunities, scars and successes from clinicians that are going against the grain of traditional medicine, and a candid dish of what the real opportunities and limitations of your doctor being a Millennial.

SXSW: What are the challenges you face as a doctor today?
Ostrovsky: Now more than ever, practicing as a physician is painstaking. There's a lot to know. There's a lot of regulation. It’s often just not worth the pain of documentation to practice. Yet, it is one of the biggest privileges one human can bestow upon another: to help them get better.

SXSW: Who else will join you on the panel during this talk?
Ostrovsky: We have a spectrum of physicians: some practice medicine and some do not. Some lead large organizations and some lead small startups. Everyone is focused on massive impact. They are Jordan Amadio of NeuroLaunch. Rebecca Coelius of Code for America and Sachin Jain of CareMore.

SXSW: Shifting gears a bit – I’m hoping we can give readers some insight into the Festival. As I’m sure you remember, it can be intimidating for newbies. What are your tips for how to make the most of SXSW?
Ostrovsky: Plan out what you want to attend ahead of time, but don't stick to that plan if you see something that spontaneously catches your attention. Also, get to know people. Some of the most fun, kind and funky people I've met were at SXSW. You should also eat the ribs.

SXSW: That leads me to my follow up question, what SXSW landmark should new attendees be sure to visit while they are attending the Festival?
Ostrovsky: The food truck parking lot. Yum.

SXSW: What inspires your creativity?
Ostrovsky: Seeing a blind individual having trouble navigating a city, but being able to figure it out and refusing help from others because they are strong, inspires me. Especially when they manage to still have a smile at the end of a hard day. That makes me want to be creative and driven to improve systems.

Session Info:

  • Title: Millennials in Medicine: Good or Bad for Health?
  • Track: Health & MedTech
  • Click here to add this session to your 2016 schedule
  • Who can attend: Interactive, Gold and Platinum badges – Haven't registered? You can do that here

Want more? Watch this blog for Session Previews every Tuesday and Thursday. View the complete schedule of SXSW Interactive programming at

Photo courtesy of speaker