A Novel Pediatric Residency Coaching Program: Outcomes After One Year

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Abstract

Problem

The ACGME requires all residency programs to assess residents on specialty-specific milestones. Optimal assessment of competence is through direct observation of performance in clinical settings, which is challenging to implement.

Approach

The authors developed the Stanford Pediatric Residency Coaching Program to improve residents’ clinical skill development, reflective practice, feedback, and goal setting, and to improve learner assessment. All residents are assigned a dedicated faculty coach who coaches them throughout their training in various settings in an iterative process. Each coaching session consists of four parts: (1) direct observation, (2) facilitated reflection, (3) feedback from the coach, and (4) goal setting. Coaches document each session and participate in the Clinical Competency Committee. Initial program evaluation (2013 –2014) focused on the program’s effect on feedback, reflection, and goal setting. Pre- and postintervention surveys of residents and faculty assessed the quantity and quality of feedback provided to residents and faculty members’ confidence in giving feedback.

Outcomes

Review of documented coaching sessions showed that all 82 residents had 3 or more direct observations (range: 3–12). Residents and faculty assessed coaches as providing higher-quality feedback and incorporating more reflection and goal setting than noncoaches. Coaches, compared with noncoaches, demonstrated increased confidence in giving feedback on clinical reasoning, communication skills, and goal setting. Noncoach faculty reported giving equal or more feedback after the coaching program than before.

Next Steps

Further evaluation is under way to explore how coaching residents can affect patient-level outcomes, and to better understand the benefits and challenges of coaching residents.

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