Creating the profession of Medical Coaching

I am a doctor in a family medicine practice in Ontario, Canada. When I took the CCC in September 2002, I had begun to long for something more from the practice of medicine. I was weary of observing the relentless progression of chronic diseases like morbid obesity, drug addiction and autoimmune disease. I had a deep sense that more could be done to affect the course of these diseases positively but I could not grasp what it could be.

At the CCC and Balance courses, L.A. Reding described a teleclass program that she and Clive Prout were leading, called Soul- Proprietor. Participants would learn how to create their practices from a place of soul and service, not from a business or advertising model. This appealed to me greatly and I signed up for the course. The first session was very challenging for me, as we were told that service pays, and that service begins with gratitude. I would have said that service costs, and that service begins with obligation.

As the course went on we identified our passion, our purpose, and the community we most wanted to serve. Then we were asked to identify the Level 3 need of our community by interviewing members of it. Doing these steps along with the nine other participants in the class helped me keep my momentum up and feel encouraged and supported.

My purpose became to create a whole new profession called medical coaching, which would combine aspects of family medicine and life coaching. It would focus on releasing what is good from creative, resourceful, whole people. Up until then, I had focused on seeing what was wrong, damaged or wounded in a person, and had tried to fix it.

For instance, recently I have been coaching a patient/client who has a disease called ITP. In this condition the body turns on itself and destroys its own platelets. The cause is not known. This patient/client stated last week, with happiness and pride, "I have learned to stop attacking myself." I asked, "If your platelets could speak, what would they say?" She said, beaming, "They'd say that they love my new attitude!" During the course of our coaching, her platelet count has begun to improve.

As a result of Soul Proprietor I now have a new joie de vivre. My top values are connection, challenge, variety, and vitality and zest. I am excited about all the possibilities I can see as I create the profession of medical coaching. I am hoping to connect with more allies and co-creators as continue to develop this profession.

I would be delighted to hear from other coaches who would love to see people become unstuck, fully healthy, and living the lives of their dreams.

Dr. Sue Gleeson