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Doctors Take to Practice Coaching

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, June 28, 2012

In addition, TransforMED grooms potential coach candidates within hospital organizations. "We train health system staff to be the coaches, so we can move out and be in the background and support," McGeeney says. Coaches work toward "assessing their ability to function as a team, [as well as] their leadership capabilities at the physician level and staff level," he adds.

Coaching physician practices, especially primary care, and prompting change "is a complex undertaking," the Commonwealth Fund report notes. The country would benefit from a more "systematic approach to the training and deployment of primary care practice coaches."

To improve coaching, curricula and best practices should be shared to convey information about what does and does not work in the field, the study says. In addition, the report recommends establishing centers of excellence and exploring the possibility of community college training programs. "Although rigorous research has demonstrated the value of practice coaching, more research and evaluation is needed to test different models of practice coaching and determine how to deploy practice coaching most efficiently," the study states.

Indeed, the physician coaching process isn't always easy, McGeeney says. "Doctors don't always like it; [they] view it as soft, fluffy stuff. But it's definitely not."


Joe Cantlupe is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media Online.
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1 comments on "Doctors Take to Practice Coaching"


Francine Gaillour, MD (6/29/2012 at 11:00 AM)
Physician coaching is a professional development resource physicians are just recently discovering. In my experience, physicians and clinical teams greatly appreciate learning additional communication skills. The key is to present coaching much like continuing medical education and not "fluff." They are able to apply the "emotional intelligence" communication skills immediately, and frequently with dramatic results....and breakthroughs in team dynamics.