What is coaching?

ICF members, Appraisal, Coaching and Mentoring for Doctors

Coaching is a transformative, goal directed journey, undertaken in partnership by the individual and their coach. It is time-limited, usually taking up to 6 sessions over 6 weeks to 5 months, depending on individual needs.

According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, "Coaching is confidential and uses a range of skills, including listening, questioning, relating learning to (your) experience and challenging to promote personal development, balance and effectiveness. As well as improving quality of life this can increase productivity and job satisfaction" (for more see; RCPsych)

Coaching is not a form of counselling or psychotherapy. It does not principally focus on the past or have the intention of being therapeutic, although this can be a by-product. Coaching is forward looking and goal-directed with the intention of helping you to reach your full potential. Coaching is also distinct from mentoring in that the coach is not the expert in your life or circumstances and is not there to tell you what to do.

Coaching will enable you to become more consciously competent of the strengths and skills you already possess so that you can apply them to other areas of your life and to future difficulties. It can help you to identify areas for development and provide you with a road map of how to get there. I can help you to look at all aspects of your life to identify areas you want to change and translate them into goals. I will challenge, motivate and guide you on your path to achieve them. Coaching is non-judgemental, confidential and supportive. I abide by the ICF code of ethics.

What can coaching do for you?

The NHS can be an unhappy environment to work in at the moment with cuts to services, increasing numbers of patients who have increasingly complex problems and higher expectations and bureaucratic regulation. All of this contributes to high levels of burn out with feelings of powerlessness and dissatisfaction amongst staff.

You may be unhappy in your life or practice and face challenges that you are unsure how to overcome. You may feel something is missing or simply want to get more out of your life or career by achieving bigger and better things. Coaching offers you a way forward. A coach will help you to gain more control in your life. The process will improve your confidence and, by developing your ability to reflect and formulate goals, help you navigate any obstacles to reach them.


A 6- session coaching package costs £600.

To enquire about costs for organisations please contact me to discuss.

FY2 Doctors Testamonial

"Upon completion of my foundation programme I found myself struggling and somewhat reluctant to commit to core training despite wanting to be a surgeon for almost 15 years. As a keen sportswoman I have greatly benefited from personal trainers and hence similarly saw coaching as an opportunity to work with someone to achieve my goals. The first and biggest revelation from coaching was that I didn’t really know, and certainly could not articulate, what I really valued. Working with Vicky I’ve gained a deeper understanding into my values and beliefs and adapted my behaviours in alignment with them. Our sessions were insightful, constructive, inspiring and always ended with me coming up with a series of steps to help me achieve the next step towards my ultimate goal of gaining better clarify of my path in medicine (even if that path was no longer a career in surgery). Vicky was supportive, insightful and non- judgmental and I am incredibly grateful for her input. I daren't imagine my life 10 years from now if I had not done coaching and likely blindly taken a path that I would later regret."

The coaching framework

The coaching journey and goals are directed by you so fewer or more sessions may be needed, but in general, the outline is as follows;

  • Before the sessions start, I will ask you what you want to get out of coaching to ensure that this is the right route for you. I will also ask you to fill in the' wheel of work' or 'life' which will be used in session 1 as a basis for our conversation.
  • During session 1 we will look through the wheel and you will set your inspirational goal.
  • During session 2 we will check on your goal. I will then help you to set the milestones to get to your goal and work out the actions needed to get to milestone 1.
  • During sessions 3-5 I will be checking on the progress made towards your milestones and you will set new actions.
  • Session 5 and 6 will be about reflecting on your progress and consolidating the changes made.
  • Throughout, I will be motivating, guiding and challenging you to tackle obstacles or make changes you want or need, on the way of achieving your goal.

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What can coaching help you with?

  • Maximizing potential at work.
  • Improving you work-life balance.
  • Successfully returning back to work after a career break or maternity leave.
  • Addressing professional burn-out.
  • Enhancing relationships.
  • Overcoming exam failure and loss of professional confidence.
  • Turning a career crisis into new opportunities.
  • Successfully transitioning into new roles.

How can coaching help your organisation?

  • Improve staff retention
  • Improve staff wellbeing and reduce rates of sickness
  • Improve succession planning
  • Rejuvenation of longer serving staff
  • Better management of talent


"Coaching has helped me gain a greater self-awareness and insight into certain behaviours that were acting as barriers in achieving my goals in the past. I had a tendency to try and seek all the answers myself without asking for help or advice. I also learnt to congratulate myself on the little and large achievements which was immensely helpful in boosting my self-confidence and ease in making decisions. I found the technique of visualisation very useful in clarifying and focusing on my goals. I also found the process of questioning helpful in challenging preconceptions and in encouraging me to seek different perspectives on problems. Overall, I learnt how to set goals and create an action plan towards achieving them."

SpR transitioning into Consultant role.

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