Future Common Practice: Coaching to Make Better Professional Doctors?

I saw this TEDx talk, Brian Goldman: Doctors make mistakes. Can we talk about that?

He states that the culture in medicine currently is one of silent shame where every doctor is expected to be always correct, and any admittance of error or mistake is ignored. Undoubtedly this silent culture likely leads to a lot of anxious and depression ridden doctors along with a skill ceiling.

I was immediately reminded of a New Yorker article I read a while back, Coaching a Surgeon: What Makes Top Performers Better? The author, an experienced surgeon, states that most doctors reach the top of their skills after a few years. Which means a good doctor can only get worse over time then. That can’t be right.

So, he asked a former mentor to observe his surgeries and immediately was given many helpful suggestions. Of course, the author also points out the same problems as Goldman that such practice is not widely accepted and indeed wouldn’t help patients sooth their fears to hear that a coach is observing their surgery. It’s a long but fascinating read that also covers the historic change in attitude of coaching in professional sports and their usefulness in other areas like musicians.

Together, the TED talk and article form a powerful presentation of a big problem and at least one possible solution.


I’m trying to get into the practice of at least writing and publishing one post/week. Rather than feeling burdened to always write long essays, I’ll just post anything that’s been swimming in my head and find interesting enough to post.

Yesterday, I also rewrote my WP Blog to Ebook program to include the posts’ images. I plan on working on another version to take any generic WP Blog and be able to give the necessary files for calibre to generate an ebook. Probably another week before I get to it though.