Coaching: a new model for academic and career achievement

Med Educ Online. 2016 Dec 1;21:33480. doi: 10.3402/meo.v21.33480. eCollection 2016.


Background: Individualized education is emerging as an innovative model for physician training. This requires faculty coaching to guide learners' achievements in academic performance, competency development, and career progression. In addition, coaching can foster self-reflection and self-monitoring using a data-guided approach to support lifelong learning.

Context: Coaching differs from mentoring or advising, and its application in medical education is novel. Because of this, definitions of the concept and the constructs of coaching as applied to medical education are needed to accurately assess the coaching relationship and coaching processes. These can then be linked to learner outcomes to inform how coaching serves as a modifier of academic and competency achievement and career satisfaction.

Innovation: We developed definitions and constructs for academic coaching in medical education based on review of existing education and non-education coaching literature. These constructs focus on 1) establishing relationship principles, 2) conducting learner assessments, 3) developing and implementing an action plan, and 4) assessing results and revising plans accordingly.

Implication: Coaching is emerging as an important construct in the context of medical education. This article lays the vital groundwork needed for evaluation of coaching programs aimed at producing outstanding physicians.

Keywords: coaching; counseling; education; faculty development; formative feedback; medical; medical education; mentors; psychometrics; undergraduate.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Clinical Competence
  • Education, Medical / organization & administration*
  • Faculty, Medical / organization & administration*
  • Formative Feedback
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Mentoring / organization & administration*
  • Program Development