Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 22(1) April 2019 : 54-59.doi:10.12927/hcq.2019.25835
Leadership Development

Executive Coaching for Leadership Development: Experience of Academic Physician Leaders

Valerie G. Kirk, Ania Kania-Richmond and Katie Chaput


Purpose: To identify the perceived impact and benefit of executive coaching by a physician coach in the context of their leadership roles.

Method: A descriptive qualitative inquiry was conducted. Individual semi-structured interviews ex post facto were conducted with physician leaders who completed an executive coaching program during the period 2015–2016. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, and data were analyzed by applying an emergent thematic analysis approach.

Results: Five interviews were conducted. Participants were female specialist physicians age 25–50 years with leadership experience that was minimal (one), more than two years (one), five years (one) or greater than 10 years (two). The experiences of the interview participants captured seven themes: isolation, time management, self-doubt, support, productivity, moving forward and workplace culture change/shift. For all participants, executive coaching appeared to positively impact their personal and professional development. There was a high degree of congruence in the experience of the executive coaching program by participants.

Conclusions: The physician leaders who underwent a series of executive coaching sessions had very similar experiences overall. The added professional development tool of executive coaching for specialist physicians may have a significant role in supporting productivity, increasing workplace engagement and transforming the culture of medical practice.



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