As surgeons, we are often on our own in a competitive, high risk environment. There are times when we are faced with:
- Being forced to do something that’s not in our best interest or the patient’s best interest.
- Having to make career decisions without confidential counsel.
- Feeling disempowered in the hospital system and unable to take care of ourselves.
Over time, these challenges compound and can lead surgeons to feelings of anxiety, exhaustion, isolation, and more. Especially in the fast-paced career of medicine, it can be difficult to recognize our needs. However, it’s critical to advocate for ourselves, rather than ignoring our needs and always putting others first.
How Coaching Can Help
Coaching can help us self-advocate by creating a space to talk about what we need, and then developing a plan for getting there. In the coaching space we understand the surgeon and healthcare culture, but we “step out of it” to advocate for you and those impacted by your best performance. In a coaching relationship, we have an opportunity to share our perspective and clarify our thinking around an issue. We can discuss new potential opportunities, resources, and pitfalls on a path to what we think success looks like (and that might be different for each of us). Best of all, we get to put that plan into action in a way that works. A coach’s job is to ask insightful questions to help the surgeon generate greater perspective, strategic analysis, and to establish a plan for moving forward.
For many surgeons, self-advocacy doesn’t come naturally. We make sacrifices in medical school, residency, and into practice simply to put scrubs on every day. Then we are driven to put the patient first, and there’s no wonder we often fail to advocate for ourselves. When we’re focused on taking care of others, it can be challenging to remember that we have to take care of ourselves too.
If you’d like to learn more about how coaching can help promote self-advocacy, contact the team at SurgeonMasters today!