The Value of Peer Coaching and its Promising Benefits

Posted on April 1, 2020 by Michelle Mudge-Riley, DO, MHA, RDN

The Peer Coaching Difference

Sometimes a physician needs someone to talk to—someone who understands the unique work culture, responsibilities, opportunities and trade-offs of medicine and can help the physician move forward out of a difficult place of stress or confusion.

That person may be a peer coach.

We offer peer coaching through our Physician Well Being Resources solution. It’s a confidential relationship between a physician seeking support and a certified professional coach who is also a physician.

The peer coach listens, supports, asks questions and guides his or her client toward greater well being in many areas: emotional balance, relationships and spirituality as well as professional, legal and financial issues. The physician feels valued by the organization and is likely to become more engaged and loyal.

Coaching Isn't Therapy

Coaching doesn’t look back and reflect on family systems or childhood problems—instead coaching is forward-facing and action-oriented. Peer coaches help physicians articulate their values and set goals, then act as accountability partners as clients pursue those goals. They also provide resources and information on personal and professional development.

A key strategy for the peer coach is helping a physician who may be stuck in a negative perspective discover and act on a set of alternative possibilities, possibilities more optimistic, hopeful and energizing.

While the physician’s external situation may not change radically, their perspective can shift from feeling trapped and without options to seeing where they have control and can effect change. The “peer coaching difference” can make the difference between a physician who feels helpless and one who sees a path to greater well being and personal fulfillment.

For more on the importance of peer coaching, one of the several proactive resources offered within our Physician Well Being Resources solution, download our article, "The Value of Peer Coaching and its Promising Benefits."


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