Goal co-construction and dialogue in an internal medicine longitudinal coaching program

Med Educ. 2022 Oct 1. doi: 10.1111/medu.14942. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Longitudinal coaching in residency programs is becoming commonplace and requires iterative and collaborative discussions between coach and resident, with the shared development of goals. However, little is known about how goal development unfolds within coaching conversations over time and the effects these conversations have. We therefore built on current coaching theory by analysing goal development dialogues within resident and faculty coaching relationships.

METHODS: This was a qualitative study using interpretive description methodology. Eight internal medicine coach-resident dyads consented to audiotaping coaching meetings over a one-year period. Transcripts from meetings and individual exit interviews were analyzed thematically using goal co-construction as a sensitizing concept.

RESULTS: Two themes were developed: (1) the content of goals discussed in coaching meetings focused on how to be a resident, with little discussion around challenges in direct patient care, and (2) co-construction mainly occurred in how to meet goals, rather than in prioritizing goals or co-constructing new goals.

DISCUSSION: In analysing goal development in the coach-resident relationships, conversations focused mainly around how to manage as a resident rather than how to improve direct patient care. This may be because academic coaching provides space separate from clinical work to focus on the stage specific professional identity development of a resident. Going forward, focus should be on how to optimize longitudinal coaching conversations to ensure co-regulation and reflection on both clinical competencies and professional identity formation.

PMID:36181337 | DOI:10.1111/medu.14942

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