Clinical Coaching


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1. Objectives

After compleation of this module, viewers will be able to:
  1. Name behaviors that clinical coaches can exhibit in order to help learners improve their performance.
  2. Name behaviors that learners can exhibit to help themselves maximize the impact of their relationships with clinical coaches.
  3. Describe differences between feedback and clinical coaching.

2. Preparation in Advance

Exercise 1

Think about an effective coach – in medicine or otherwise – with whom you have worked previously. What made this coach so good? Name at least three specific behaviors or attributes of this coach that led you to improve your performance, skills, behavior, or attitudes.

3. The Module

Clinical Coaching


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4. Application of the Module

Exercise 1

Using the framework of the module, reflect upon two experiences you had as an apprentice at some point during your career. This might have been as a medical student or an intern, for example, or as a beginning graduate student. Consider one experience with an effective coach, and one with an ineffective coach. In what ways did each coach exemplify the behaviors discussed in the module? In what ways did each coach achieve (or fail to meet) each item?

5. Next Steps and Peer Coaching

Exercise 1

Reflect upon your most recent conversation with a more junior trainee. Did you exhibit the four described behaviors of effective clinical coaching during this exchange? If not, what were the obstacles or impediments, and how will you overcome them during your next interaction with this trainee? If so, how can you improve upon what you are already doing well?

6. Summary Points

  1. Feedback has been defined as information describing performance in a given activity that is intended to guide future performance.
  2. We define clinical coaching as a helping, longitudinal relationship that provides continuing feedback on and assistance with improving performance.
  3. Attributes of a clinical coach include creating and meeting within a safe environment, establishing expectations for the coaching relationship, identifying learner strengths, weaknesses, and needs, preparing for coaching meetings with specific examples, and following up with learners to guide performance longitudinally.
  4. Attributes of a learner seeking coaching include identifying and reflecting upon specific areas for improvement, eliciting coaching by sharing self-assessment and then asking for and clarifying suggestions for improvement, and working together to establish a specific action plan.

About the Author

MeliaMichael T. Melia, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Fellowship Program Director
Associate Director for Faculty Engagement, Osler Medical Training Program
Tausig College Advisor
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Module Editor

Rachel Levine, MD, MPH
Associate Dean for Faculty  Educational Development
Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Vice Chair for Women’s Academic Careers, Department of Medicine
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine