A Starter's Guide to Pursuing an Academic Coaching Program

AMA Wire (03/05/2018) Murphy, Brendan

The American Medical Association (AMA) last year published a new coaching guide, "Coaching in Medical Education: A Faculty Handbook," that features eight chapters on academic coaching written by faculty members at schools in the AMA's Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium. The aim is to provide a practical framework for medical educators who are forming programs for medical student coaching. These programs typically involve a learner and a coach working one-on-one to develop strategies that will allow the learner to master a skill set. Mary Casey Jacob, PhD, professor of psychiatry and obstetrics and gynecology at University of Connecticut School of Medicine, notes: "Having a coach was helpful to students as they navigated a dramatically different curriculum, since the students could not rely on upperclassmen for help and advice in the 'normal' way. I have also found that training the coaches to know quite a bit about the new curriculum has helped spread the word among the faculty." Jacob and other AMA members who authored the chapters of the handbook concur that the more metrics coaches are able to access, the better equipped they are to get a clear picture of a student's strengths and weaknesses. The consensus also seemed to be that there is value in providing coaching to medical residents, although the type of coaching might differ and finding time to do so would be a challenge.

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