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Coaching Doctors: First Show Them the Evidence

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What is it about physicians? The stereotype of the brilliant and bold surgeon who reigns over the operating room whose mantra is “A chance to cut is a chance to cure.” The ever-smiling pediatrician wearing a bow-tie with a small elephant on his stethoscope. And the pipe-smoking psychiatrist, steeped in Freud and saying little. None of whom listens to anyone without an MD, and often not to them.

Many physicians have life and death in their hands—literally. As physicians, our training is to “fix it”. Jerome Groopman shares with us that doctors usually get it right, but sometimes they don’t.

“Most errors are mistakes in thinking. And part of what causes these cognitive errors is our inner feelings, feelings we do not readily admit to and often don’t realize.”

Show Them the Evidence

My work in coaching physicians lives at the interface of what they know—getting it right—and what they often don’t realize, that being an effective executive leader requires additional skills and moving from linear to complex thinking. Once they realize the value of coaching in getting them there, they are ideal clients. Meet them where they live, in science. Show them the evidence, the research and they’re ready to go.

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