Feb 25, 2022

Three interesting pieces came across our desk this Winter, providing new perspectives on Surgical Coaching.

OBGyn Coaching

Megan Orlando and Surgical Coach and Academy VP, Cara King, published an opinion piece in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology with an update on the current evidence supporting surgical coaching as a method for performance improvement by obstetricians and gynecologists. They conclude:

With significant variations across Obstetrics and Gynecology training programs and an ever-changing landscape of new surgical challenges and technologies, there is a need for innovation to optimize surgical performance. The [American Board of Medical Specialities] has created specific recommendations on how continuing certification must change. Surgical coaching offers an opportunity to help meet those recommendations by tailoring practice change to individual surgeons through goal-setting, self-reflection, and ongoing feedback. We believe implementation of surgical coaching in Obstetrics and Gynecology has the potential to improve performance, provide lifelong learning, and promote excellence in patient care.

International Surgical Coaching Survey Results

Surgical Coach and practicing surgeon Sofia Valanci-Aroesty and colleagues at McGill University published findings from their international survey of surgeons about their attitudes toward peer coaching and the design of future coaching programs. We have been following this work from its inception and were eager to learn what they found. The three most interesting findings were:

  • 53% of respondents were aware of peer coaching, and 84% willing to participate in a peer coaching program.
  • The most important program elements were  feedback kept private and confidential (63%); opportunity to provide feedback to the coach (59%); personalized goal setting (58%); and the option to choose one’s own coach (49%).
  • As always, the most common barrier to participation was logistical constraints (79%).

These survey findings bring forward an interesting gap. Surgical coaching is available to all surgeons through the Academy for Surgical Coaching. How do we get the word out to more surgeons?

Surgical Coaching Increases Retention

The Cleveland Clinic has an internal coaching program that includes surgeon coaching. We were thrilled to see their program featured in Becker’s Hospital Review, an important trade magazine for hospital executives. They surveyed coaching program participants and asked “To what degree has your participation in the Center for Excellence in Coaching and Mentoring programming contributed to your decision to stay at Cleveland Clinic?” Of the 500+ participants in their coaching program, 197 said that the coaching program influenced their decision to stay. Based on the cost of turnover and the annual emoployee’s salary, “they have calculated a potential cost savings of more than $133 million attributed to program participation.” This figure contributes to the ongoing discussion of the indirect cost savings from supporting healthcare professionals’ development and wellness.


Orlando MS, Greenberg CC, Pavuluri Quamme SR, Yee A, Faerber AE, King CR. Surgical coaching in Obstetrics and Gynecology: an evidence-based strategy to elevate surgical education and promote lifelong learning. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2022 Feb 14:S0002-9378(22)00105-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2022.02.006. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35176285.

Valanci-Aroesty, S., Feldman, L.S., Fiore, J.F. et al. Considerations for designing and implementing a surgical peer coaching program: an international survey. Surg Endosc (2021).

Gleeson C. How Cleveland Clinic has saved $133M in physician retention. Beckers Hosp Rev. 2021 Nov 23. Available online: