Physician coaching to enhance well-being: a qualitative analysis of a pilot intervention.
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.
Schneider, S; Kingsolver, K; Rosdahl, J
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