How to Use Your Physicican Well Being Resources: Peer Coaching

Posted on April 11, 2019 by Amy Tiffany

Two physicians talkingIn January we did an in-depth overview of our WorkLife Concierge resource. This month, we will discuss what peer coaching is and how it can be used as part of our Physician Well Being Resources solution.

Medical practitioners are dealing with increased workloads, changing methods of documenting care, increased accountability, decreased patient-facing time and greater patient demands. The result can be higher levels of stress, burnout and anxiety, and carry-over effects on work satisfaction and performance, relationships at home and with colleagues and overall feelings of well being. Often times working with a peer coach can help.

What is Peer Coaching?

Through physician/provider peer coaching, you can talk with someone who understands the unique stressors you experience and can provide support and mentoring to you with complete confidentiality. Our peer coaching is short-term, goal oriented and solution-focused. Physicians & advanced practitioners often consult our peer coaches when they are experiencing:

  • Unusual levels of stress
  • Desire for strengthening leadership skills
  • Increased frustration or anger at work
  • Grief and loss
  • Challenges in managing administrative or other practice-related tasks
  • Communication difficulties with other staff members or administration
  • Relationship issues at work and their personal lives
  • Difficulty balancing the demands of family and practicing medicine

Peer coaching provides a collaborative relationship with flexible boundaries allowing for mentorship guidance as well as support with finding ways to navigate these difficult situations.

Who are our Peer Coaches?

Our peer coaches come from different specialty areas but have in common a passion for assisting other physicians in strengthening their life and work satisfaction—and most importantly, know the challenges of practicing medicine. Most of our coaches are certified coaching professionals, and many maintain a medical practice in their specialty. They are available to assist you by phone or in-person, depending on their location. Some physicians prefer to talk with a peer coach in another geographic location for a greater level of privacy. 

Peer coaching can help by providing:

  • Support and empathic listening
  • Non-judgmental insights on work-related issues
  • Finding balance between work and personal life
  • Practice-related advice and feedback
  • Personal and professional goal setting

Peer coaching does not help with:

  • Physician/patient relationships
  • Prescriptions or medication management
  • Psychiatric or psychological evaluation

I want to use Peer Coaching. How do I access it?

Many of your Physician Well Being Resources, including peer coaching, are best accessed by picking up the phone and calling our dedicated number—877.737.3949. You can also contact us through the VITAL WorkLife mobile app, which is included as part of Physician Well Being Resources.

Whenever you call, you will first be connected to our automated phone message where you will be directed to the resource you are looking to access. Once connected with the resource—in this case peer coaching—our Physician Practice Lead and Senior Consultants are available (during normal business hours) to assist you by gathering necessary information to connect you with the appropriate peer coach.

Preparing for Your Initial Session

After your initial call with VITAL WorkLife, you will be provided a brief bio of 2-3 coach options to choose from. From these options you’ll be able to select the coach you want to work with and will be assisted with scheduling your first appointment. Prior to your first session, you may find it helpful to identify your goals and expectations for coaching. It may be as simple as having someone validate your perspective, provide mentoring or advice, or include action items like creating a stress management plan or ways to approach challenging work situations.

What happens if it’s the middle of the night and I need to talk to someone?

At any time of the day or night you always have access to in the moment counseling support from a master’s level counselor. Otherwise, leave us a message, and we’ll follow up the next business day to assist with scheduling peer coaching.

We Can Help

Physician Peer Coaching engages you with a professional who is trained to provide effective guidance and support in achieving your work/life goals with the added benefit of their direct experience with the specific challenges you face. Contact us at 877.731.3949 or through the mobile app to access your peer coaching today. 

To learn more about our Physician Well Being Resources or talk with someone about our solutions in more detail, contact us online or call us at 877.731.3949.

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