Director's Message: A Good Coach Can Make His Players See What They Can Be Rather Than What They Are
Coaching is essential to high-level achievement in performance professions such as sports, dance and music. Two recent studies have furthered our understanding of the limits of coaching in medical education. Both studies focused on individuals with a unique perspective on both worlds: medical students, residents and practitioners who, through coaching, had achieved high levels of performance in sports, music and other areas prior to entering medical school.
Brian Mavis, PhD
Watling and colleagues' 2014 publication focused on the circumstances related to when feedback was successful in promoting change. From interviews with 27 medical students and physicians with high-level training in sports or music, they found that the meaning of feedback was influenced by the learning culture, features of the feedback, and the individual learner.
The learning culture modulates the meaning of feedback. Within a trusting relationship feedback could be more direct, critical and harsher, yet retain its meaningfulness. In medical education, the frequent changes in venue and preceptor, coupled with preceptors' dual role of instructor and evaluator, often resulted in impersonal and disjointed preceptor-student relationships. As for the feedback itself, good feedback was described as specific, timely, credible and actionable. Respondents reported that receiving feedback was an emotion-laden experience. While respondents recognized their own preferences for style of feedback, they also asserted that an orientation toward discipline and hard work helped to facilitate effective learning.
A study published in 2015 by Rosenkrans and colleagues identified many of the same issues. They interviewed 23 clerkship students about the learning culture in clerkships and how it compared to their prior coaching experiences. This comparison is summarized in Table 1. How is coaching different from mentoring? Coaches focus on performance while mentors focus broadly on learners' personal development. Coaching is
frequently a short-term commitment while mentoring often is longer term. Medical education has traditionally embraced the mentoring model, but there has been increasing recognition of the value of coaching despite the many limitations of the medical education system.
When taken from a coaching perspective, the emphasis is on deliberate practice and feedback. A paper by Gifford and Fall (2014) describes their Doctor-Coach framework, which they use as the basis for faculty development and resident-as-teachers programs. They have identified the key steps for effective coaching, as illustrated in Figure 1.
Based on their continuing work, they have established a website portal for disseminating resources supporting the Doctor-Coach model. It is a good place to start for anyone interested in enhancing his or her own coaching skills. The title for this essay is a quotation from Ara Parseghian, one of the "Holy Trinity" of Notre Dame head coaches. What he said still sounds right decades later in this time, and in this place, where the players are our medical students.
Director, Office of Medical Education Research and Development
Director, CHM Learning Academy
|Faculty Development: Finding Funding for Curriculum Development |
Do you have some instruction you are developing or want to develop for the Shared Discovery Curriculum? Would some funding help you accomplish this? If so, this OMERAD webinar may help.
This webinar, presented recently by MSU librarians Jon Harrison and Iris Kovar-Gough, explains:
- how to navigate the MSU funding database and
- describes strategies for finding appropriate funding.
Available is a recording of the webinar and a link (Link may require MSU EZproxy authentication) to the article mentioned:
Gruppen, Larry D., and Steven J. Durning. "Needles and Haystacks: Finding Funding for Medical Education Research." Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges (2015).
The slides used in the presentation will be available soon on the OMERAD
website under the Seminars tab.