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Explore (NY). 2014 Nov-Dec;10(6):372-9. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2014.08.007. Epub 2014 Aug 22.

Physician coaching to enhance well-being: a qualitative analysis of a pilot intervention.

Author information

1
Department of Family Medicine, Duke University, Pickens Building, 2100 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27710. Electronic address: sageleafhealth@gmail.com.
2
Department of Family Medicine, Duke University, Pickens Building, 2100 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27710.
3
Department of Ophthalmology, Duke University, Durham, NC.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Physicians in the United States increasingly confront stress, burnout, and other serious symptoms at an alarming level. As a result, there is growing public interest in the development of interventions that improve physician resiliency.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study is to evaluate the perceived impact of Physician Well-being Coaching on physician stress and resiliency, as implemented in a major medical center.

STUDY DESIGN:

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 physician-participants, and three coaches of a Physician Well-being Coaching pilot focused on three main areas: life context, impacts of coaching, and coaching process.

PARTICIPANTS:

Interviewees were physicians who completed between three and eight individual coaching sessions between October 2012 and May 2013 through the Physician Well-being Coaching pilot program.

ANALYSIS:

Qualitative content analysis of the 11 physician interviews and three coach interviews using Atlas.ti to generate patterns and themes.

RESULTS:

Physician Well-being Coaching helped participants increase resilience via skill and awareness development in the following three main areas: (1) boundary setting and prioritization, (2) self-compassion and self-care, and (3) self-awareness. These insights often led to behavior changes and were perceived by physicians to have indirect but positive impact on patient care.

CONCLUSIONS:

Devaluing self-care while prioritizing the care of others may be a significant, but unnecessary, source of burnout for physicians. This study suggests that coaching can potentially help physicians alter this pattern through skill development and increased self-awareness. It also suggests that by strengthening physician self-care, coaching can help to positively impact patient care.

KEYWORDS:

Health coaching; physician burnout; resilience; stress management; wellness; work–life balance

PMID:
25240635
DOI:
10.1016/j.explore.2014.08.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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