BackTable / OBGYN / Podcast / Episode #10
What is a Surgical Coach, and Why Do I Need One?
with Dr. Cara King
In this episode, Dr. Cara King, the Fellowship Director for Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery at Cleveland Clinic and a member of the Board of Directors of the Academy for Surgical Coaching, discusses the topic of surgical coaching and its benefits for physicians, trainees, and learners.
BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2022, December 29). Ep. 10 – What is a Surgical Coach, and Why Do I Need One? [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com
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Dr. Cara King
Dr. Cara King is the Fellowship Director for Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery at Cleveland Clinic and a member of the Board of Directors of the Academy for Surgical Coaching.
Dr. Mark Hoffman
Dr. Mark Hoffman is an OBGYN and minimally invasive gynecologic surgeon with University of Kentucky Healthcare.
Dr. King begins the episode by describing surgical coaching as an act of asking open-ended questions, determining where a “coachee” is currently at, identifying their goals, and then empowering them to make specific actions that are needed to close this gap. During the discussion, she emphasizes the importance of prioritizing self-assessment as a coach.
Dr. King then explains how to find a surgical coach through the Academy for Surgical Coaching. The process requires a “coachee” to complete a form that identifies their personal goals, and then the “coachee” is paired with a coach from the pool of physicians from various specialties. Coaching experiences are performed through various platforms (e.g., in-person, video-based, etc.) and are ideally conducted for 3-, 6-, or 12-month periods. Dr. King also covers how outcomes and metrics are evaluated, describing the differences between technical and non-technical (e.g., judgment) skills.
The doctors transition to emphasize the importance of incorporating coaching into a surgeon’s practice. Dr. King shares 2 methods to do so, including (1) replacing 1-hour of grand rounds or meetings with 1 hour of coaching sessions, as well as (2) integrating coaching at the level of national societies (e.g., American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists). The doctors go on to highlight also incorporating coaching at the level of medical schools and residency in order to instill the mentality of continual improvement early on in a physician’s career.
The episode ends with Dr. King sharing the steps to becoming a surgical coach through the Academy for Surgical Coaching, which includes a paid certification program.
Atul Gawande, “Personal Best”:
The Academy for Surgical Coaching:
Greenberg CC, Byrnes ME, Engler TA, Quamme SPR, Thumma JR, Dimick JB. Association of a Statewide Surgical Coaching Program With Clinical Outcomes and Surgeon Perceptions. Ann Surg. 2021 Jun 1;273(6):1034-1039.
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