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.

As literature begins to emerge on the coaching practices that lead to the best outcomes for learners, the AMA provides resources to make coaching an integral part of your physician training, whether you are a coach or being coached:

  • "Coaching in Medical Education: A Faculty Handbook" offers necessary guidance for educators and administrators to navigate this new area. Undergraduate medical education is the focus, but graduate medical education faculty and educators in many health professions will likely also find relevant information throughout the entire handbook.
  • “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.

The AMA hosts an annual academic coaching workshop which aims to equip undergraduate and graduate medical education faculty who have—or anticipate having—significant responsibility for developing and implementing coaching programs at their institution with the knowledge and skills needed to be effective academic coaches and leaders. The program provides basic training to participants in coaching, as well as an overview of how to design, implement and evaluate a coaching program at their local institutions.

Applications for the 2020-2021 program are closed. View a directory (PDF) of this year’s participants.

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