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Do You Have What it Takes to Coach Physicians?

Introducing an Advanced Certification Coach Training Program for Coaches and Consultants Who Want to Build or Expand their Practice Within Healthcare 

From: Francine R. Gaillour, MD, MBA, FACPE
Founder and Executive Director, Physician Coaching Institute™
President, The Gaillour Group, PhysicianLeadership.com - Executive and Career Coach for Physicians

Dear Coaching Colleague,

For almost eight years I have enjoyed a gratifying, thriving coaching practice, working with physicians. Physicians are my niche. I know them inside and out.

Not only am I former practicing physician myself, but I know every physician type and "archetype" out there.  I've worked with the kindest of docs, and also the most arrogant.  I've seen many physicians rise to the challenge of leading healthcare changes, and many buckle under the strain of an increasingly complex system. 

For the past eight years I've had the pleasure and privilege of coaching and consulting with hundreds of the most progressive, innovative, energetic, frustrating, and "daring doctors" in the medical profession. 

What I love about my work is that my physician clients have not only transformed themselves but they are also transforming their communities and their organizations. My coaching practice has been not only immensely gratifying for me as a coach, but just as importantly, it has been highly rewarding for me as a solo entrepreneur.

Wanted: Highly Motivated Coaches to Specialize in Physician Coaching

But I realize I can't coach all the physicians who could truly benefit from coaching. My coaching practice is full the brim and I am limiting the number of one-on-clients I will take. This is one of the reasons I developed  the  Physician Coaching Institute over five years ago.

The medical profession needs more coaches who understand the underlying drivers of physician stress and dissatisfaction, who understand the professional aspirations and challenges of doctors, who understand the interpersonal dynamics of physicians and their colleagues, and who can competently coach physicians to get them back on a professional pathway of achievement, balance and joy.

At this point in my coaching career, I am directing my  attention to develop  highly motivated coaches who want to take on the challenge, and also reap the rewards, of building a niche coaching an amazingly intelligent, eager, and grateful group of professionals. This first group of coaches completed their training in the new Advanced Certification Program in early 2007, and earned the Certified Physician Development Coach™ designation in July. 

This is an opportunity to be a super-specialist coach -- whether as an entrepreneur coach or an internal organizational coach -- and to "heal to the healers."  

Are you cut out to be a Certified Physician Development Coach™

Before you answer that, let me share with you what is happening in medicine today and why a growing crisis means an opportunity and need for specialized physician coaches.

There is No Industry More Ripe for Coaching than Healthcare

My physician clients are trying to survive and thrive in a healthcare system that is on the verge of breakdown. Did you know that the medical profession ranks #2 in the top 10 most stressful careers?  Physicians are bearing the brunt of the seismic changes in healthcare. 

Here are just a few of the drivers causing enormous change---and stress---for physicians:


  • An aging population means physicians are spending more time with sicker patients, but reimbursements are actually declining

  • Physicians are expected to meet new "productivity" targets, but this means more patients per day and less personalized time with each patient

  • Health plans are imposing patient quality "report cards" on physicians or else be dropped by the plan, but many physicians are not prepared to meet standards

  • Sophisticated and demanding baby boomers expect immediate access to specialists and treatments, but physicians question the need for costly and unnecessary care

  • The tech-savvy "millennium generation" are finding a mountain of healthcare information on the Internet, but physicians are expected to sort out the truth from the quackery for them

  • Stratospheric rise in malpractice insurance  is forcing many subspecialty physicians to leave the profession, and doctors are almost politically powerless to intervene

  • Insurers and patients are pushing physicians to use electronic medical records, but physicians are struggling with the cost of technology and the patient risk of "computer error"

  • Hospitals and health plans increasingly expect physicians to follow clinical protocols, but physicians are distrustful of "cook book" medicine

To add insult to injury, some physicians' hostile reactions to these changes are compounding the stress because they are lashing out at their clinical colleagues and staff. You've heard about the nursing shortage? In my view, nurses would be a lot happier if physicians would get coaching!

Physicians are under a new kind of stress they never anticipated when they first went to medical school: 

Losing sleep because you're stumped by a complex patient case is one thing

But losing sleep because you don't enjoy your work anymore or because you feel ineffectual---

----well that's a whole a lot scarier for the every smart physician who has spent a lifetime developing mastery

Simply put, many physicians are experiencing a breakdown in their career, in their working relationships and in their ethical and spiritual boundaries. Moreover, physician leaders who are trying to clean up the mess have their hands full too! 

The good news? There is no industry more ripe for coaching than healthcare! 

Are You Competent to Coach These 5 Physician Profiles?

But if you want to succeed coaching physicians, you MUST be advanced trained in coaching physicians. You might think that's an arrogant statement, but I'm saying it for a good reason:  As a physician, I care deeply about the medical profession and I want physicians to succeed. 

Here's the scoop: We are a complex bunch. Generalized personal coaching or career coaching isn't enough. 

In my client base, there are at least five distinct physician profiles that routinely come to me for coaching help:




Physicians who feel their creativity and ingenuity is constrained by medicine and want to expand or transition their career 




Physicians who truly love medicine but are struggling to regain their well-being and enjoy their practice in the midst of tumultuous change 




Physicians who are in a leadership position and are developing new people and business management skills for first time, and have no idea whether they are being effective 




Physicians who want to develop additional streams of income with health products or new service models and are being "entrepreneurs" for the first time 




Physicians who have been given feedback that their behavior is difficult or "rough" and are coming to grips with the need to shape up or, well, you know what 


Now guess what: The majority of my clients present with elements of every single one of those five profiles

Why Doctors Need a Physician Development Coach™, Not Just a Coach

As a physician coach who practiced medicine for over ten years and who has also coached and consulted with hundreds of physicians, I recognize how physicians fray at the edges. What a doctor states is their "problem" and what they think is the "solution" ain't necessarily the real story, nor the whole story

I'm going to give you one example of a client who I think might be one my most straightforward cases. Here is the story of Dr. H:

The case of Dr. H

Dr. H came to me expressing a desire to leave medicine and wanted my help finding a new non-clinical career. The reason he gave for wanting to leave medicine was "I'm tired of the grind." 

What was the real reason underlying his fatigue: No vacation in almost a year, and on call every weekend. 

Why: He had burned his bridges over several years with several colleagues who could have shared call with him and supported him building a practice. 

Why: He perceived an event that occurred many years ago as being hostile to him and his practice. He carried a grudge for 15 years with another physician.

What we focused on: Developing a broader repertoire of interpersonal communication; repairing relationships with specialty physicians; building collegial relationships with perceived enemies; improving how he delegates to office staff; exploring additional skills and strengths

Result: Dr. H is thriving in his clinical practice, enjoying his family time, and developing a speaking business on the side.

The case of Dr. H is an example the most straightforward of my clients. This might give you an idea of how even the most seemingly uncomplicated of physicians really benefits from specialized coaching. Coaching that assesses the multiple dimensions of physician career fulfillment and keeps these bright individuals fully engaged and serving their community. 
Are you ready to become one these specialized physician coaches?

7 Reasons Why Physicians are Dream Clients:

Since launching my consulting coaching practice five years ago I have worked with  well over 300 physicians: in one-on-settings, in group coaching, in workshops, seminars, teleseminars, and through tutorials. 

The truly exciting news in is that in my experience as a physician and a professional coach, physicians make ideal coaching clients. Here are 7 reasons why:

  • Physicians as a group are highly intelligent

  • They are naturally "life long learners" who pride themselves on learning new skills

  • Most physicians have never had been trained in basic "people skills " and they are hungry for and appreciate every tip, secret, and technique you can offer

  • The vast majority of docs were "called" to medicine as healers and they have a natural inclination toward the intuitive and spiritual --- so long as you don't go "woo woo" on them!

  • Physicians are extremely motivated and once they set a goal, they will work hard to achieve it

  • Doctors are among the highest paid professionals and if they perceive value, they will pay commensurate fees 

  • Physicians are more than willing to establish a long business relationship as long as they continue to grow 

Why Be Advanced Trained as a Physician Development Coach™?

As I mentioned, my belief is that physicians benefit most from coaches who can address the multiple demands of a busy physician, their deeply held fears, their aspirations, their unique strengths, their weaknesses, AND their non-clinical career possibilities. 

In a sense this is a combination life-leadership-career-executive-resilience coach rolled into one. Maybe you are all of those.

But here is my assessment: You could go through multiple training programs in life coaching, executive coaching, emotional intelligence coaching, and career coaching, and STILL miss the boat when it comes to truly being of service to docs AND developing a thriving physician coaching business.

Here's another big scoop: Physicians value and respect: education, training, credentials, structure, method and other professionals. 

Does this mean you can't do a good job coaching a physician if a you're a generalized life or career coach? 

No, not at all. But you'd probably be missing an opportunity to coach on additional dimensions that are important to your physician client, that would have even more dramatic impact on their life, and that would in turn deepen your expertise.

My goal in establishing the Physician Coaching Institute's Advanced Certification Program isto  take you from your current basic coach training and coaching practice (whether as a life, career or executive coach) to the point where you are an expert Physician Development Coach enjoying a thriving practice that will sustain you for the long haul of being in business. You will serve your clients best  when you have your business foundation solidly in place.

You will get there by adding three essential Physician Coach Practice Proficiencies which I will provide you:

#1 Advanced Physician Coaching Concepts and Coaching Programs 

The concepts and methods that will enable you to competently and confidently assess a physician's multidimensional needs, aspirations, obstacles and possibilities and guide them to outcomes they could envision only in their big dreams. 

Learn the Physician Coaching Program approach that not only guarantees a longer, more lucrative contract for you, but is also the preferred approach by physician clients!


#2 Practice Building Strategies Unique to Healthcare

Fully developed Physician Coaching Programs make it easy for physicians to say "I get it." 

Next are the marketing strategies that educate the healthcare community, and move physician clients from "I'm intrigued" to "Let's get started." Optional ongoing business development roundtable sessions keep your strategies  fresh and your passion stoked.  Physicians don't like sleezy approaches and you will have no use for cheap selling techniques either. Learn how to create awareness in the market  with integrity and professionalism.


#3 Staying Power Credibility Development 

Differentiating yourself from the crowd of coaches starts with Advanced Concepts and specific Physician Coaching Programs. Your credibility is further solidified through recognition of your unique philosophy + the Physician Coaching Institute credential.  

The Physician Coaching Institute was founded and its charter members include the most recognized physician coach "trail-blazers"  in the industry today. Your training is based on hundreds of hours of coaches actually coaching physicians -- not just theory. 

Bottom line: Physicians RESPECT credentials and case learning, and you will earn the Certified Physician Development Coach™ designation which demonstrates not only your commitment to physicians, but your willingness to attain the next level  of education.   Furthermore, physicians appreciate VIP treatment: You will learn specific strategies to develop and maintain a peer to peer relationship.


What are some of the Benefits of becoming a Certified Physician Development Coach™?


  • There is no need to reinvent the wheel if you've thinking about developing a coaching niche for physicians, the programs, materials, structure has been done, delivered, and refined by me dozens of times 

  • You will learn about the healthcare coaching market from a physician who is not only a coach but also a former healthcare marketing executive - a rare breed 

  • Even if healthcare is currently your broad niche, there's no getting around the fact you won't be truly successful unless you thoroughly understand the "doctor dynamic" 

  • Coaching physicians is immensely gratifying, and because not everyone is cut out for it, you'll be among the rare few, listed in the Physician Coaching Institute Directory 

  • Non-stop business development help is available throughout your training and then beyond if you elect to become an Active Member  of the Institute 

  • You will have an opportunity to "mastermind" among fellow Physician Development Coaches with diverse and intriguing backgrounds who can challenge and support you 

  • As you go through the training, not only will you learn to coach physicians, you will learn how to super-sub-specialize within physician coaching if you wish -- I'll show you how 

  • As a Certified Development Coach™, you will be able to differentiate your coaching practice from the thousands of coaches out there on the Internet, and it's a good bet you'll be one of the few  Physician Coaches in your geographic region 

  • Because you can coach by phone, there is no geographical limit to where your clients can come from; moreover, the market pool is large: 600,000 physicians just in the US, with an equal number in UK, Europe and Australia, and another 600,000 in India 

  • Having a coaching niche is a smart way to build a 6-figure income, and coaching physicians is an excellent niche to achieve that goal 


What is Included in the Physician Coaching Institute™ Advanced Certification Training Program ?


  • 12 Live Training TeleSeminars over 6 months:

  • 4 Modules on Advanced Physician Coaching Concepts 

  • 2 Modules on Healthcare Coaching Program Development 

  • 4 Modules on Marketing and Practice Building Strategies 

  • 2 Modules  on Staying Power Credibility Development 

  • Audio recording mp3 of every training Teleseminar for playback later 

  •  Training Module Outlines in a sturdy 3-ringed Binder, shipped to you 

  • Online Group Journal for discussion and sharing of ideas in between the teleseminar sessions

  •  Audio and Data MP3's of Additional Essential Knowledge that is referenced in the Training Modules 

  • 6 Mastermind Group Coaching Sessions with Dr. Francine Gaillour, Executive Director, during the 6 month Program to assist with your action plans for each Module 

  • 3 Private Business Coaching Sessions with Dr. Francine Gaillour, Executive Director, during the 6 month Program 


Once you complete the Training you will earn:


  • The Certified Physician Development Coach™  designation to use in your marketing materials

  • Eligibility to join the Physician Coaching Institute as an Active Member and enjoy the benefits of ongoing brand development and expertise recognition

  • Eligibility to have your web page Coach Profile on the Physician Coaching Institute directory

  • Eligibility to promote your articles and products through the Physician Coaching Institute

  • Eligibility to expand your learning with physician coaching best practices with a cohort of Physician Development Coaches in the Business Roundtable Teleconferences   personally facilitated by Francine Gaillour, MD

What are the Requirements for Enrolling in the Advanced Certification Program?

In case you're wondering whether you will qualify for the Physician Coaching Institute' Advanced Certification Program, please go through this quick check list and make sure you can answer "yes" to every item:

  • ___ I have completed or will be completing at a minimum the  basic level coach training through an International Coach Federation (ICF) recognized training program, or have equivalent organizational development training*

  • ___ I am committed to the time, energy and financial investment necessary to build a thriving practice

  • ___ I have an affinity for healthcare and physicians

  • ___ I can commit to an intense 6-month training program

  • ___ I value integrity, honesty, and collegiality 

Are you considering becoming a healthcare executive or life coach, but haven't yet completed a basic coaching skills-development program?  

Go ahead and complete the Inquiry form below and share your situation and experiences.  We can recommend a coach development plan that will allow you to start BOTH a foundation skills-building coach training AND then enter the Advanced Certification Program within a short time. 

The Physician Coaching Institute's Advanced Certification Program leading to the Certified Physician Development Coach™ recognition accepts a limited number of eligible coaches for each cohort group.  Training programs are conducted three times a year, with program starts in February, June and October.  Please Click Here for Next Training Dates. 

The Physician Coaching Institute hosts a FREE  Orientation and Program Preview Teleconference every 2 months.  This is your opportunity to learn more about the Advanced Certification Program and see if becoming a  Certified Physician Development Coach™ is a good fit with your business development goals.  Click Here for next Orientation Dates.

To learn more about the Physician Coaching Institute, the  Certified Physician Development Coach training Program details and fees, and  to reserve your space in the next Orientation and Preview Teleconference, please complete the short inquiry below.  

Institute Inquiry Form:
First and Last Name:  
Please share a little bit about yourself and your current coaching or consulting business:


Francine Gaillour, MD
Founder and Executive Director 


Physician Coaching Institute Ki Health, Inc. © 2006

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