Going the extra mile: Lessons learned from running coaches applied to medicine

Ryan Graddy, Scott Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Master clinicians and successful long-distance runners have a lot in common. Both are dedicated to continuous improvement and are flexible in their approach, allowing for adaptation to meet unplanned challenges. Given these similarities and the important role of coaches in athletics, there is an opportunity for medical educators to learn from excellent running coaching. The authors spent time with three respected running coaches at different levels (high school, college, and postcollegiate online) and identified six principles employed by these coaches that seem to be particularly relevant for promoting skill development in medicine. Three of these may be considered foundational tenets for a successful coach: know your coachee; model the qualities you seek to instill; and communicate clearly and consistently. An additional three principles represent higher order coaching skills that enable superior coaches to develop others into truly outstanding performers: be a keen observer; purposefully build strong and interconnected teams; and inspire greatness. Longitudinal, individualized coaching predicated on these six tenets may be an effective means for optimizing professional development in medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-92
Number of pages4
JournalEducation for Health: Change in Learning and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Coaching
  • Direct observation
  • Medical education
  • Role modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Education


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