The Future of Coaching is a digital magazine that is devoted to defining the opportunities and challenges associated with the evolving field of professional coaching. There is perhaps no domain of contemporary society in which this field finds greater opportunity – and greater challenge – than the domain of healthcare. Whether we are addressing issues associated with the shifting nature of healthcare being provided in the United States or the healthcare issues to be found in great diversity throughout the world, the opportunity and challenge can be identified as economic in nature as a matter of human care and service, or both. It is a world in which polarities and nested problems prevail: do we devote resources to more extensive care or to fortifying the financial integrity of this institution (as it is being buffeted by new regulations and a shifting market landscape). Are we primarily in the business of treatment or in the business of prevention? Who should be at the table when we are making critical decisions about priorities and program focus? Those of us who provide professional coaching services to leaders in healthcare know full well that there are not easy answers and that it is precisely because there are no easy answers that our services are of great value.
There is perhaps no one in this turbulent world of healthcare who is swirling around more dramatically than the physician. Who else has to assign priorities more frequently on a daily basis than the leader of a healthcare team. Who is more likely to feel the pull between care and financial contingencies than the women and men wearing the stethoscope. It is to this person—the physician—that we are devoting two consecutive issues of The Future of Coaching. This is setting a precedence for this digital magazine. We have never deemed it appropriate or necessary to offer this sustained (two issue) attention to one specific coaching theme – until now.
And we have invited a very special colleague to guide us through the opportunities and challenges of coaching to physicians. She is Margaret Cary, MD. In the issue of The Future of Coaching we published earlier this year (Issue #14) and in the current issue (#15), Maggi Cary has engaged her experiences as a physician, as a health care leader, and as a coach-in-great-demand. She has engaged these extensive experiences in the identification of physicians and other members of the health care community who can write with insight about the role of coaching in the enhancement of health care practices. With our encouragement, Dr. Cary has also included in both issues some of her own writing. So, please enjoy and benefit from what we are offering in both of these issues. We turn now to Margaret Cary’s own summary of the articles we provide in this issue of The Future of Coaching.