Awaiting the arrival of joy

How many of you have been waiting for joy to arrive? When do you think it will appear?

Many professions and individuals slip into the mentality that when they get through the current stage or stressor, they will finally find their joy. It’s incredibly prevalent among physicians given the nature of our delayed gratification in training. It’s common to think joy will arrive or be delivered after an accomplishment.

 

“I finished med school and matched into residency” (peeks outside front door looking for the joy package) “Oh, it must be after I get this tough intern year out of the way.”

 

 “I finished internship.” (looks out front hoping to see the FedEx delivery person with Joy in hand) “Hmmm, not yet. Likely after my tough ICU rotation where I will learn a ton.”

 

“I survived ICU!” (checks phone for “Joy package out for delivery” message) “No notification yet, maybe as I get...

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What is physician coaching?

Coaching has been around in other fields for a couple of decades. Leaders in the C-suites of large corporations have long-since used coaching to keep up their A game. And though a small subset of physicians have found the benefits of coaching over the years, it was only in the last 5 years that data has been published about the benefits of physician coaching. The most well known study, released August 2019, showed decreased emotional exhaustion, decreased burnout, increased resiliency, and increased quality of life with physician coaching. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31380892/

Let's talk about what coaching is and what it's not.  

First what it's not - coaching is NOT therapy. It is not advising - advisors give advice - they guide, direct, and steer.  It is not mentoring.  Mentors are people the physician naturally looks up to and wants to emulate.  

Coaching is officially defined as "partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process...

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