Doctor Coach

Don't teach more, coach better!

Leslie

Need a picture of LF and KG on the left here.

About Doctor Coach

We designed our Doctor Coach program to respond to numerous calls in the literature and across educator organizations to improve the practice of using direct observation and providing effective feedback to clinical learners. Our program is grounded in the emerging concept of developmental skill milestones to promote learner self-assessment and goal-setting and implementation of progressive skills practice. The program is intentionally designed to for use by busy clinical teachers.

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Welcome to Doctor Coach

Doctor Coach is the manifestation of our vision to provide methods and tools for outstanding clinical teaching that enables progressive autonomy development for learners while capitalizing on today's busy clinical environment, and ultimately ensures that learners internalize these methods to enable them to have a lifetime of excellence in practice. We developed the framework using coaching principles from disciplines within and beyond medicine including performing and fine arts, sports, and business. We recognized that although the skills being learned differed between disciplines, the fundamental coaching strategies utilized to teach the skills were similar and most were applicable to teaching clinical skills in medicine. Initially designed in 2006 as our resident-as-teacher program, Doctor Coach has quickly expanded into our faculty development program and community preceptor training. Our workshops have also proven to be popular at national educator meetings. We hope you find this material useful for your own faculty development and personal coaching practice as well.

Leslie Fall, MD; Professor of Pediatrics, Associate Dean for Faculty Development, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Kim Gifford, MD; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Residency Program Director, Children's Hospital at Dartmouth

Collaborators

We are indebted to the following colleagues whose contributions have been instrumental in the development of the Doctor Coach framework and the success of numerous national Doctor Coach workshops.

Becky Blakenburg, MD (Stanford University School of Medicine) for her contributions to our understanding of the coach-learner relationship and for co-leading workshops.

Lavjay Butani, MD (University of California, Davis, School of Medicine) for his contributions to our understanding of the role of reflection in coaching.

Lyuba Konopasek, MD (Weil Cornell Medical College of Cornell University) for the development of the Ask-Tell-Ask feedback framework, and for co-leading workshops.

Su Ting Li, MD (University of California, Davis, School of Medicine) for her work and publications regarding effective goal setting, and for co-leading several workshops.

Tai Lockspeiser, MD (University of Colorado School of Medicine) for her contributions to our understanding of self-regulated learning.

John Mahan, MD (Ohio State University College of Medicine) for his contribution to our understanding of the role of emotional intelligence.

Sherilyn Smith, MD (University of Washington School of Medicine) for implementation of the Doctor Coach framework within her own faculty development program and for co-leading several workshops.

Candace Smith-King, MD (Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Grand Rapids campus) for implementation of the Doctor Coach program within her own faculty development program and for providing us with valuable feedback.

Mark Vining, MD (University of Massachusetts Medical School) for his contributions to the purposeful questioning tools, and for co-leading several workshops.

Principles and Framework Development

The Doctor Coach framework emphasizes the coach-learner relationship and distinctly outlines all of the steps required to be an effective coach: establishing a coaching environment, deconstructing one's own clinical expertise, eliciting a learner’s self-assessment, purposefully observing a learner’s performance, synthesizing a coach’s assessment of the learner’s performance, promoting reflection, creating a feedback dialog, revisiting goals and determining practice objectives, and facilitating practice.

We developed the framework by synthesized coaching-related literature in the performing and fine arts, business, and sports to determine the aspects of deliberate practice that were applicable to medical education. From this collective body of coaching literature, we recognized that although the skills being learned differed between coaching disciplines, the fundamental coaching strategies were similar and applicable to teaching clinical skills in medicine. We also drew from the critical observation skills derived from the art appreciation literature, many of which are already being used in medical schools to teach patient observation skills. We then derived an inventory of clinical coaching competencies that are achieved when the coaching strategies are employed as the coach progresses through the steps in the clinical coaching cycle.

Workshop and Module Design

To design and implement effective coach training programs for participants based on the Doctor Coach framework, we defined the foundational principles on which our programs should be built through a review of the literature on faculty development, resident-as-teacher, adult learning theory, cognitive neuroscience, self-regulated learning, and cognitive apprenticeship (see References).

With these principles in mind, we use a deliberate practice design in our workshops and modules in order to provide coaches-in-training with 1) the core coaching concepts and practical coaching tools; 2) opportunities to practice using the tools in their daily coaching environment; and 3) reinforcement of core concepts over time. Where available, we integrated the strategies and tools shown by others to be effective in medical education such as teaching styles, observation skills, reflections, feedback dialogs, and setting goals, and then designed our own tools to fill in gaps where no literature existed.

Contact Us

Leslie.H.Fall@med-u.org

Kimberly.A.Gifford @med-u.org

Doctor Coach
℅ MedU
DRTC Ste 2F
16 Cavendish Ct 
Lebanon, NH 03766