Springer Nature

How group coaching contributes to organisational understanding among newly graduated doctors

Posted on 2020-06-17 - 03:30
Abstract Background Practising medicine at an expert level requires skills beyond medical expert knowledge. Research shows that newly appointed consultants feel less prepared to deal with leadership issues compared to issues regarding medical expertice. Newly graduated (NG) doctors and residents in particular struggle with leadership and organisational issues. The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of group coaching on NG doctors’ approach to organisational and leadership challenges in daily practice during the transition period from medical school to clinical work. Methods Newly graduated doctors participated in a group coaching course comprising three full-day sessions and five two-hour sessions. The purpose was to support NG doctors’ professional development regarding organisational issues in the first years after graduation. The coaches were health professionals with certified coaching training. Data from the intervention were collected from open-ended questionnaires and observational notes. A thematic analysis was performed. Results Forty-five NG doctors participated in a total of six courses sharing experiences and problems reflected in their professional lives. The following themes emerged: Revelation of the hidden curriculum, importance of professional relations, inter-professional communication, conflict management and emerging leadership skills. Participants’ communication skills improved due to an increased awareness of other peoples’ perspectives and preferences. They realized the importance of good relations, saw how they could become active contributors in their departments and began to practice leadership skills through e.g. involvement of the team, delegation of work and negotiation of own obligations. Conclusion Newly graduated doctors seemed to develop a growing awareness of organisational issues and a deeper understanding of the complexity of health care organisations through participation in a group coaching course. The study indicates that participation in a group coaching course probably contributes to improve practice among NG doctors. Further studies are needed to consolidate the findings and explore possible organisational effects.


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