Learning as a Surgeon is Lifelong: Why Every Surgeon Needs a Coach

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I read with interest the article by Ting et al. in this issue entitled: “Improving surgical excellence: can surgical coaching improve patient engagement?” The authors employed four coaches, each with at least 15 years of experience as a surgeon and recent completion of a coaching course, led by an experienced psychologist. Each coach took on three surgeons (i.e. the “coachees”) and met with them at three separate time points, each following a video recorded outpatient clinic. Their principal finding was that the patient spent significantly more time talking after the coachees had been coached. The authors felt this represented better patient engagement and, perhaps, would lead to better surgical outcomes.

Coaching for surgeons was raised as a novel concept in a 2011 New Yorker article by Dr Atul Gawande, an American professor of public health and endocrine surgeon based in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr Gawande eloquently defined the need for coaching as “never getting good enough to not need guidance along the way.”...
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1151-1152
Number of pages2
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Issue number5
Early online date21 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Personal development
  • Mentorship


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