I help doctors manage career transitions, challenges and opportunities to have successful and meaningful careers in the medical profession they love.
I have 30 years’ experience in healthcare, and work as a Consultant Paediatric Otorhinolaryngologist. I have a PhD, a Masters in Medical Education, and have / had leadership roles at University, regional and national level. I am an appraiser and a consultant peer mentor, and passionate about diversity. Coaching is a natural extension of my work as a doctor. I am altruistic and driven by a wish to help others, underpinned by my core values of curiosity, love of learning, honesty, fairness, and kindness.
I would like to say I’ve not used the word career in a positive sense for almost 10 years. It had felt a career had deteriorated into a ‘job’. Thank you
GP discussing career management
I hold a formal qualification in Coaching and Mentoring, accredited at level 5 by the Institute of Leadership and Management and delivered by the British School of Coaching. This was a one-year programme that included theory, practical application, and direct observation & assessment of my skills.
I have completed formal training in career coaching, and am a licensed career coach with Career Counselling Services.
I have completed a variety of short courses / masterclasses such as:
Transactional Analysis 101 course
Emotional Intelligence EQ-i 2.0 / EQ 360 Certification
Accredited Certificate in Group Coaching and Facilitation
Acceptance and Commitment Training Course.
I am also qualified as a coaching supervisor.
My interest in helping others has always been with me. I wanted to do medicine from a young age, but it nearly didn’t happen. I’m of mixed European Scottish heritage, and when I moved to UK at the age of 16, I was told that my aims were too high as a migrant and that I should settle for something that doesn’t need such good grades. I ended up not going to university at all, and took a job as a phlebotomist instead. Then I got A level results and realised that actually I did do well enough to get into medical school, and working in a hospital made me realised that medicine was for me. So I entered medical school, but very early experienced the prejudices of others, and the negative impact that bad careers advice can have.
I worked hard at medical school and came top of the year. I knew early on that surgery was for me. I entered ENT by chance rather than by design, being fortunate to work in an old fashioned system where people rotated around a range of posts, and broad experience, apprenticeship, and time-served were seen as assets rather than failures/liabilities. I enjoyed research, completed a PhD towards the end of my training, obtained external grants, and won prizes with my work; some 10 years later I still maintain industry collaborations arising from my research, and I hope that my research continues to have an impact.
Once working as a consultant, I realised that I can also have an influence of the staff around me, as well as patients. I did a Masters in Medical Education, and when the opportunity arose, took on the role of ENT lead at our university. I am also involved in professionalism, and have been Training Programme Director. I also became engaged with national committees, serving on the council of British Otorhinolaryngological Research Society, and Students and Foundations Doctors in Otolaryngology.
Like many doctors, once the impostor syndrome of being a new consultant settled down, I began to wonder what’s next for my career. Asking myself “Is this it?” coincided with a period of ill health leading to a wholesale reappraisal of where my life is heading. I had coaching, which helped me discover my love for both great patient care as well as for developing others around me. After spending a couple of years thinking how I can bring my wished of making a difference to others, I decided that training as a coach was one way that I can do that.
The year-long coach training programme accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management and run by the British School of Coaching was an eye opener. It made me realise how the medical model of “doctor knows best” might work for patients, but this is not how one develops people. On the other hand, coaching, with unconditional positive regard, asking questions rather than offering answers, and gentle challenge, is a much better way to help others find their own way forward. Studying coaching gave me a new appetite for learning, and I have read widely and attended numerous short coaching courses. I have also engaged with the coaching professional bodies and communities, helping set up and now co-chairing Association for Coaching’s Co-Coaching Forum for Health and Social Care. I also decided to study coaching at an even greater depth than ILM by enrolling in a Masters in Coaching and Mentoring with Oxford Brookes University, and have completed the post-graduate certificate stage in April 2021.
I use coaching as a way of leading now, and hope that my colleagues benefit from my coaching expertise. Yet coaching is about working with people that I don’t know; you can’t be an objective coach when you are coaching friends or colleagues, coaching works when you don’t have personal links with the coachee. So this is where Career Medic comes in. I have set up the business as a way that I can help those people that I don’t know at present. I continue to work full time in the NHS; coaching is an additional way that I can help others, and it doesn’t replace my dedication to great patient care.
I have a successful and meaningful career as a consultant, combining NHS clinical work with undergraduate teaching commitments. Coaching enables me to use my own experiences and coaching expertise to help other doctors create successful and meaningful careers.
I'm a member of the Association for Coaching, the European Mentoring and Coaching Council, and the Association for Professional Executive Coaching and Supervision. I adhere to the coaching Global Code of Ethics.
I initiated, helped set up, and now co-chair the Association for Coaching's co-coaching forum for Health and Social Care. In addition to being a professional networking opportunity, the aim of the co-coaching forum is to provide an opportunity for coaches to receive coaching, practice coaching, be observed in their coaching, and receive feedback on their coaching.
I have contributed to the Association's Coaching Connections magazine, writing about our experience of coaching in the operating theatre.
I maintain professional liability insurance and take part in Continuous Professional Development relevant to coaching. I undertake supervision of my coaching work, this means regular meeting with an experienced coach supervisor where we discuss my coaching, outcomes, and feedback (I regularly request feedback from coachees to ensure that I am delivering what is needed and to help my ongoing development).
Current roles include:
- Undergraduate lead for ENT at our university
- Consultant peer mentor
- Guidelines lead for ENT at our Trust
- Council member of Students and Foundation Doctors in Otolaryngology
- BACO conference academic committee member
- ESPO conference academic committee member
Past roles include:
- Training Programme Director
- Audit lead
- Secretary of Otorhinolaryngological Research Society
- Secretary of British Society for Academic Otorhinolaryngology
- Secretary of British Otorhinolaryngology and Allied Sciences Research Society
- Journal section editor
Not sure how you manage it but you have got me to do so much! More than I ever imagined I could.
Trainee doctor discussing careers
If you have any questions regarding coaching, please get in touch.