Four smiling students sitting in class

While long used in the business world, and more recently in physician circles, coaching is relatively new to the medical trainee world. An academic coach is a person assigned to facilitate learners achieving their fullest potential.

Coaches evaluate the performance of medical students via review of objective assessments, assisting the student to identify needs and create a plan to achieve these, and helping the student be accountable. Coaches help students improve their own self-monitoring, while fostering the idea that coaching will benefit them throughout their medical careers.

Coaching is a unique relationship, and it is vital to acknowledge responsibilities as students/residents in maximizing a coaching relationship. Coaching is a coachee-driven, problem-solving, performance-based relationship focused on the development of the coachee.

The goals of coaching are to reflect on successes and challenges, create goals, problem-solve barriers, identify resources and develop and execute a plan.

Applications for the next Academic Coaching Implementation workshop are now closed.

This workshop will help equip leaders and educators, who have (or anticipate having) significant responsibility for developing and implementing coaching programs in undergraduate or graduate medical education, with the knowledge and skills needed to implement, refine and evaluate a successful program. Participants will join a community of academic faculty with similar interests from across the country to learn, network and share information. To encourage the development of coaching programs at their institutions, the AMA covers the costs of the workshop for participants.

View a directory (PDF) of August 2022 participants.

View a directory (PDF) of February 2022 participants.

View a directory (PDF) of 2021 participants.

Today’s medical school coaching programs focus on a wide variety of individualized goals, including professional identity formation and academic performance, while strengthening skills such as community building, leadership, lifelong learning and more.

Nine coaching video modules were developed to support greater understanding of the competencies, skills and approaches used by academic coaches. They can be implemented as a component of a comprehensive coaching curriculum for training coaches. The videos illustrate coaching competencies and include examples of coaching by inexperienced and experienced coaches. The modules for the Academic Coaching in Med Ed video series may be accessed for free on the AMA YouTube channel and on the AMA Ed Hub™.

Coaching in MedEd: Coaching basics video screenshot
Coaching in MedEd video series: Coaching basics

AMA Ed Hub™

Coaching in Medical Education publication cover
Coaching in Medical Education

Today’s medical school coaching programs integrate a wide variety of personalized goals—including professional identity formation and academic performance—as well as community building, leadership and lifelong learning skills, clinical skills development and more.

Coaching in Medical Education, part of the American Medical Association’s MedEd Innovation Series, is a first-of-its-kind, instructor-focused field book that that equips educators to coach all learners and run an effective coaching program, increasing the likelihood of learner (and thus physician) success.

Purchase now.

A recording of the AMA Innovations in Medical Education webinar, Practical tips to implement coaching in medical education and foster master adaptive learners, is available.

Coaching is emerging as a way to support learners’ academic, professional identity, and well-being goals in medical education. Coaching, via its unique framework of support that is different from advising, can especially enhance the process of each of the phases of the Master Adaptive Learner framework and support lifelong learning. Scant literature exists on ways to assess coaches and evaluate coaching programs so that benefits can be quantified and investments justified. Coaching competencies can be used to identify and develop tools to train and assess coaches for all trainees across the medical education continuum including learners from diverse backgrounds.

Access recording.

Facilitating Effective Transitions Along the Medical Education Continuum handbook
Facilitating Effective Transitions Along the Medical Education Continuum handbook

The AMA Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium in conjunction with experts at Wayne State University School of Medicine, the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah, and the University of Michigan Medical School has published a new coaching guide for learners and educators navigating each stage of medical training.

The Facilitating Effective Transitions Along the Medical Education Continuum handbook takes a deep dive into the needs of learners along the continuum of medical education—from the beginning of medical school through the final stage of residency.

It Takes Two: A Guide to Being a Good Coachee
A coachee handbook for students

“It Takes Two: A Guide to Being a Good Coachee” provides guidance on how get the most out of a coaching relationship, including how your coach can develop you as a master adaptive learner, how to use coaching throughout training and how coaching can help you build successful personal learning networks.

Access the AMA’s coaching in medical education toolkit to learn more and get the most out of the coaching process.

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