You know what I think about personal growth? In the business world today, the words “mentor” and “coach” are very common, and they’re often used interchangeably. Although both are extremely valuable resources, in reality, they couldn’t be more different, there is a distinction between the two that make them as different as night and day. A mentor is an advisor, someone who is successful in his role, and readily shares his knowledge or expertise with others, but he doesn’t have to really know the mentee to be effective. Coaches, on the other hand, understand their clients intimately, they usually hold a certification, and are strong process managers. They’re prescriptive and proactive, actively participating in strategy development with their clients to achieve specific goals. Essentially, where the mentor is a generalist, the coach is a specialist.
Health care today is complicated and highly-complex with a mountain of rules and regulations that govern practically every aspect of the doctor-patient relationship. The real challenge for doctors today is that their culture—the physician culture—hasn’t really changed. Physicians are at the top of the health care hierarchy and are the ones ultimately accountable for patient outcomes, and yet they’re almost treated as commodities by health care managers.