By Dr. Tom Lloyd, Director, Saegis Safety Institute
Over time, experience has shown me that a coach can fulfill many important learning and reflective roles for a medical professional and should be considered as an essential tool for professional growth and development. Coaching can be especially useful for physicians working to make constructive sense of feedback, which is an essential but famously complex tool for learning.
Saegis, a subsidiary of Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA), has partnered with the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) to coach physicians participating in the MCC 360 feedback program. The program’s assessment tool collects data about participants from multiple sources: physician colleagues, non-physician co-workers and patients, and includes a self-assessment completed by the participating physician.
Saegis is uniquely well-positioned to be a coaching partner for MCC 360, as we have unique insight into the challenges that physicians face every day through our relationship to the CMPA.
Coaching improves the tool’s performance
Based on the MCC 360 data, physicians receive a feedback report through which they can reflect on their CanMEDS roles as communicator, collaborator and professional. Even when it is presented in the most constructive manner, feedback is not always easy to receive and interpret. This makes coaching an essential component for a successful experience with the MCC 360. In fact, medical education research shows that when physicians receive a report about their performance – even if gaps are obvious – support follow-up is needed to promote learning or a change in behaviour.
Saegis coaching uses trained peer facilitators, who help participants interpret their feedback report, view the feedback in an objective and constructive manner and develop an action plan. Coaching happens over two one-hour sessions: the first immediately after the physician receives the report, and the second four to six weeks after the first session. Saegis customizes the coaching experience for each participant.
The R2C2 coaching model
Our facilitators use R2C2, an evidence-based, reflective coaching model. It is an approach we find highly effective for physicians. The model moves through four key phases:
- Relationship building
- Exploring reactions
- Exploring content and
- Coaching for change
The conversations our coaches have with participants lead to reflective exchanges about the participant’s performance, what is working best and where they can improve.
Sign up for MCC 360
 Bracken & Rose, 2011; Ferguson et al., 2014; Sargeant et al., 2007; Sargeant et al., 2005