I have been fortunate to work as a junior doctor, practice as an anaesthetist, facilitate and educate as a simulation instructor, coach as a supervisor of training, and be a recipient of healthcare (a patient).
I've personally discovered that by developing self awareness, it is possible to feel more fulfilled, confident and empowered as a practitioner and provide more compassionate care for patients.
Coaching sits at the intersection of medical education and wellbeing. By improving the wellbeing and effectiveness of doctors through coaching, there is a multiplier effect on improving patient outcomes.
So, what does this mean for me personally? When I give an anaesthetic I help one patient; when I educate I indirectly help thousands of patients; when I coach I serve tens of thousands of patients.
Short term I am implementing coaching programs for individual doctors at a local level. Long term it is my intention to organise a network of trained anaesthetist coaches throughout Australia and New Zealand.
I am a specialist Anaesthetist working in public practice in Newcastle NSW. My areas of clinical interest include gynae-oncology, colorectal surgery and vascular angio.
I am a clinician-patient and I remain highly committed to providing the best possible patient experience through:
My interest in coaching began as an ANZCA Supervisor of Training. At the beginning of 2020 I set up a formal independent coaching practice assisting doctors with professional development. In 2020 I completed a Diploma of Professional Coaching from the Australian Institute of Professional Coaches and a Professional Development Certificate in Executive Coaching.
In March 2021 I graduated as a Master Certified Physician Development Coach. This training through the Physician Coaching Institute in the USA is a rigorous 6 month program recognised by the International Coaching Federation. Through the program I have learnt structures and skills specific to coaching doctors. The small cohort of 14 like minded friends, facilitated by expert physician coach Dr Francine Gaillour and Master Certified Coach Amorah Ross, has supported and challenged me every step of the way to be the best coach I can be. I have coached and been coached on every single aspect of the coaching programs I provide.
I am passionate about teaching and I'm privileged to learn alongside medical students, nurses, residents, registrars and other members of the healthcare team every day in theatre.
My Post Graduate Certificate in Medical Education for Anaesthetists through the University of Dundee gave me core knowledge in adult learning theory and contemporary assessment techniques. I regularly use this knowledge when coaching doctors for educational issues. The Management and Leadership in Medical Education module provided a solid foundation in theory and practice for appropriate goal setting in a coaching environment.
Since 2013 I have been working as an instructor in the Hunter New England Simulation Centre. With increasing knowledge and skills in advocacy-inquiry feedback, I now see my role as a facilitator rather than a content expert. In my coaching practice I regularly utilise the debriefing and feedback skills that I have acquired.
As an expert in providing feedback with good judgement:
As an ANZCA Supervisor of Training from 2014 - 2019 I have extensive experience supervising registrars. During my tenure I particularly enjoyed assisting trainees experiencing difficulty. Over the years I successfully coached numerous trainees through rocky times of exam failure, personal difficulty and professional issues to eventually complete their training.
In my role as Supervisor of Training (and as Rotational Supervisor in 2019) I was part of the team responsible for recruitment of anaesthetic trainees.* My specific areas of experience include:
* Obviously I cannot provide specific details about applications for anaesthetics training. That would unfairly advantage you over other candidates and would be unethical.
I am passionate about doctor wellbeing as I believe that happy, healthy doctors are safer doctors.
I was involved in providing feedback during the drafting of the Long Lives Healthy Workplaces Plan for anaesthetics departments.
In 2019 as Rotational Supervisor I established a number of small projects to improve doctor wellbeing including:
This bio makes it sound like my career trajectory has been smooth sailing. I can assure you it has not.
I am well placed to empathise with many of the challenges that life throws at doctors. Career breaks, illness, relationship breakdown, exam failure, imposter syndrome. I am very normal. And so are you too!
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