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Emotional Intelligence Coaching vs. Classes for Disruptive Physicians

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The enormous stresses on todays physicians has lead to a dramatic increase in stress related disorders including “disruptive behavior” and burnout. Currently, two of the oldest providers of mandated interventions for physicians both offer two or three day Continuing Medical Education Courses in a small group format for disruptive behavior. The Distressed Physician Program is offered at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the PACE Anger Management Program for Professionals is offered by the University of California School of Medicine at San Diego .

Physicians are reluctant to participate in groups or classes for sensitive issues such as “disruptive behavior” or burnout and are more comfortable pursuing individual coaching sessions on-site or at the offices of Anderson & Anderson, APC in Los Angeles.

One of the fundamental choices available to physician coaching clients is one-on-one coaching versus a small group course. There are many differences between these types of coaching and in the type of experiences you will have with each. However, both types of interventions have a lot to offer; the choice should be made on where you will get the maximum benefit and offers the best learning experience.

What Individual Coaching for Physicians and High Profile Clients Offer

Individual coaching is based around a strong relationship between the coach and the individual, and demands a strong interaction between both parties. It includes a great deal of “face time,” often in both the office and via phone contacts. The complete experience is very much a free flow of information to and skill enhancement exercises for the individual. The coaching is focused on the participants needs. Confidentiality is considered to be more secure in individual coaching than any type of group intervention.

At times the individual coaching experience can seem a little overwhelming because the attention of the coach is fixed firmly on the client but this is what’s needed for the end result to fully develop skills sets in self-aware, self-control, social awareness and relationship management. These are the core topics of coaching for disruptive behavior.

Emotional Intelligence Including 360 Degree Assessments Increases RIO

Another way to track the benefits (or lack thereof) associated with coaching is through the use of assessments. Assessments conducted at the beginning of a coaching program help focus the goal-setting process, and readministering the same assessment at the completion of the coaching can determine the extent to which progress was made.

Three-hundred-and-sixty-degree feedback, for example, has become almost synonymous with coaching programs. Assessments that compare self-perceptions and the perceptions of others can provide invaluable information for the employee who needs a better understanding of how his or her behavior affects others (Nowack, 2007).

Continuing Medical Education Classes and Its Benefits

Conversely the use of classes offers a very different experience. Joining a small class allows each individual to share his or her experience. And while the techniques and tools used by most trainers will be very similar, individuals not only are aware of how the training affects them; they also get to see how it’s affecting other class members. Role playing and peer-supported learning has a number of benefits; it provides a less pressured environment and the group often becomes an extended support network to reinforce the lessons and tools first introduced by the trainer. Confidentiality in groups is perceived to be less secure especially among well-known surgeons and Medical School Professors.

In conclusion, Well-Being Committees and administrators who mandate or refer physicians, and high profile clients to mandated coaching should be aware of the concern of those who are candidates for coaching. Individual vs. small group classes should be carefully explored with the participants before the referral is made. In addition, pre and post assessments add to a program’s credibility.

County, State and National Medical Associations are beginning to recommend legitimate, trained professional providers of Emotional Intelligence Coaching for “disruptive behavior” rather than counseling, psychotherapy or classes.

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