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Peer Coaching FAQ

What is the purpose of Peer Coaching?
  • The purpose of Peer coaching is to provide supportive resource for academic and personal development.

What is Peer Coaching?

  • Coaching is usually a short-term relationship where the goal is to determine the next step toward desired professional or personal outcomes.

I already have a mentor(s). Do I need a peer coach?

  • Mentoring relationships are typically long-term, one-on-one relationships where the mentor has a skill set or expertise that can help the mentee with career development over time. (Link here)
  • A peer coach helps you work on specific tasks, objectives or short-term goals.
  • Whether or not a peer coach is right for you depends on your needs.
    • A mentor typically provides broad career-oriented guidance e.g. how to be a successful researcher or how to advance academically in your field
    • A coach provides support to achieve a short term goal e.g. how to improve time management, navigate a challenging relationship with a colleague or supervisor, or manage work-life balance

Will getting a coach result in a negative impression of me to my supervisors and peers?

  • On the contrary, top performing athletes, high level executives and academic leaders frequently engage coaches to improve their skills

What are the expectations of the Coachee?

  • Schedule meetings (in person or virtual) at least quarterly, with the assigned coach
  • Complete the Redcap survey prior to the first meeting with your peer coach
  • Think about topics for discussion and email them to your coach 72 hrs prior to that meeting

How do I get a Peer Coach?

  • A Peer coach is assigned to all new full time DOM faculty
  • All full time DOM faculty can request a peer coach
  • Dr. Ghossein can be contacted via a division chief, supervisor, or directly by the faculty member. Faculty members can also contact coaches directly.

How do I contact my Peer Coach?

  • A peer coach will reach out to the coachee via email once the assignment is made. The coach and coachee should then discuss future preferred methods of communication (i.e. Email, cell phone or pager)

Are the sessions confidential?

  • Yes
  • Exceptions are made for suspected self-harm or harm to others

Who is the director of the Peer Coaching Program?

Who helps run the program?

Who are the coaches? (Peer Coach Directory here)

What is the process for becoming a coach?

  • Coaches are selected from DOM faculty after an application process
  • They are then trained by existing coaches and professional executive coaches from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business.
  • Coaches undergo ongoing skills development throughout the year.

What should we talk about when we meet?

  • This depends on your needs and goals.
    • For self-referrals topics will be picked by you, occasionally with some prompting from your coach
    • Below are commonly encountered topics:
      • Getting acclimated to NMH/NU downtown- logistics, geography
      • Transitioning from trainee to attending
      • Developing a solid work flow for clinical and academic duties
      • Meeting with division chief
      • Meeting with division administrator
      • Work/life balance/integration
      • Understanding the Northwestern academic landscape
      • Choosing a mentor
      • Academic promotion
      • Patient care
      • Clinical skills
      • Academic research
      • Health professions education
      • Health systems administration
      • Well-being/wellness
      • Time management

How long is a peer coaching relationship?

  • It depends
    • For new faculty it typically lasts 18 months
    • For self-referred faculty duration will be mutually agreed on with coach
    • Discuss with Dr. Ghossein if you have more questions about duration of the relationship

What if I need counseling or other resources?

  • Dr. Richard Carroll, view here
  • Employee assistance program
  • DOM Wellness Resources here