November 04, 2011
Jeremy Boal, MD
“Even Jack Nicklaus needs a coach.” That’s what Kelly Skeff, MD, PhD, told me back in 1998, when I had the good fortune to spend a month with him learning how to be a better teacher. Dr. Skeff is the founder and codirector of Stanford School of Medicine Faculty Development Center for Medical Teachers. In a similar vein, Atul Gawande, MD, just published an article in the New Yorker advocating the use of coaches for clinicians to help them improve their performance.
I couldn't agree more. We have been using executive coaches through the North Shore-LIJ Center for Learning and Innovation to help many of our clinicians become better leaders and have begun to use clinical coaches more formally as well.
This coaching model is also a core component of the new Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine curriculum. Every 12 weeks, the students gather at the Center for Learning and Innovation to practice what they have been learning with computerized patient simulators as well as with paid actors. Over the course of a week, they are coached on a daily basis for the sole purpose of improving their performance.