Working with a coach during medical school

Feeling a bit lost in medical school? Wondering if coaching might be for you? Here are my top 3 insights of working with a coach during medical school.

working with a coach during medical school

Many of us reach a few points in life where we naturally reflect more on our current circumstance, whether in terms of career or life in general. Great potential and new excitement can come from such a transitional time, but also feelings of being stuck and drained can occur. Working with a coach during medical school helped me to get to know myself better and what I want from life!  

Here are 3 insights I made during my time of working with a coach during medical school, which might inspire you to consider working with a coach, whether you are still in school or already a qualified doctor.

My top 3 insights of working with a coach during medical school

1. Coaching is for anyone!

Previously my perception around coaching was that only Olympic athletes, CEOs and celebs work with coaches – or people who at least have finished their education. Turns out I was quite wrong! Coaching is for anyone, who wants to work on bringing positive change to their life in one form or another. 

working with a coach during medical school

You do not have to have finished your education to start working with a coach. In fact, getting to know yourself while you are still figuring out who you want to be and developing your skills can be incredibly valuable.

I started working with a coach early on in medical school. It has given me quite a different perspective on how to approach my life and career choices from there on. Even while you are still in medical school you constantly make decisions that affect your life. Such as choosing research projects, or placements, study abroad opportunities, electives or even finding a potential life partner. All of these decisions will affect your life one way or another and you will notice the effect of having made these choices actively and in a way that serves you and your life best.

2. You will have fun discovering yourself and your own resourcefulness while working with a coach during medical school

You might be a highly functioning person already having achieved goals that you have set yourself in the past. A coach will further challenge you to evaluate whether your thinking and behaviour is serving you optimally, and help you to release more undiscovered potential. 

My coach helped me to pinpoint beliefs that have been holding me back and together we changed that into mindsets and behaviours that empower me to reach the things I am setting out for, without restrictions from myself. She also helped me to tune into the things I am already good at by learning from past successes and how I can use that knowledge to tackle current objectives. 

I smile whenever I think about some of the challenging questions she asks me to spark my creative thinking and help me discover my own resourcefulness!

working with a coach during medical school

3. Adapt the growth mindset 

Dr Carol Dweck and colleagues have long studied the concept of the growth mindset and written the book: Mindset – The new Psychology of Success. The aim of the team is to help people adapt a mindset of continual learning and growth. They believe that people can jumpstart their own successes by simply changing the way they view challenges.

You can approach challenges with either a fixed mindset and feel stuck whenever you are met with the unknown, or you can embrace challenges and the learning potential they bring by having a  growth mindset. 

Adapting the growth mindset, meant for me welcoming the fact that my greatest progress happens outside of my comfort zone and to embrace occasional bloopers for their learning potential and a greater overall success! The beauty is that you can start implementing the growth mindset concept in every corner of your life and so increase your learning and in fact wellbeing by being kind to yourself for still learning. 


For anyone considering coaching, whether you are still in education or a fully trained doctor my ultimate advice is to find a good coach and give it a try. Working with a coach during medical school has fundamentally changed how I view my own journey and freed up a lot more time for living and enjoying what I do. After a while of working with a coach you will start to get the hang of what kinds of questions challenge your thinking and behaviours. You will automatically find that you start having mini coaching sessions with yourself as you go about your day! 

Here we have posted more information on what coaches do, how far you can go with a career coach and a list of handpicked coaches specifically for doctors!

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Rebecca Mortensen

Rebecca Mortensen

Rebecca is a graduate entry medical student in Ireland. She is passionate about medical students’ wellbeing, encouraging people to find their unique career paths and enjoys every opportunity to be creative.

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