HealthDay News — Professional coaching can reduce emotional exhaustion, improve overall quality of life, and build resilience among physicians, according to a study published online Aug. 5 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Liselotte N. Dyrbye, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues examined the effect of individualized coaching on physician well-being in a pilot randomized clinical trial involving 88 practicing physicians in medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics. Participants underwent six coaching sessions facilitated by a professional coach.

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The researchers found that by the end of the study, emotional exhaustion decreased by a mean of 5.2 points in the intervention group after six months of professional coaching versus an increase of 1.5 points in the control group. At five months, the absolute rates of high emotional exhaustion decreased by 19.5 percent in the intervention group and increased by 9.8 percent in the control group (difference, −29.3 percent; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], −34.0 to −24.6 percent); the absolute rates of overall burnout decreased and increased by 17.1 and 4.9 percent, respectively (difference, −22.0 percent; 95 percent CI, −25.2 to −18.7). Quality of life improved by a mean of 1.2 points in the intervention group compared with 0.1 points in the control group (difference, 1.1 points; 95 percent CI, 0.04 to 2.1 points); resilience scores improved by a mean of 1.3 and 0.6 points, respectively (difference, 0.7 points; 95 percent CI, 0.0 to 3.0 points).

“Coaching expands the framework of the types of offerings that organizations can provide to assist physicians both personally and professionally,” the authors write.

Several authors are coinventors of and receive royalties for the Physician Well-Being Index, Medical Student Well-Being Index, Nurse Well-Being Index, and the Well-Being Index.

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