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ERIC Number: EJ1171856
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Nov
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2154-6282
"I Don't See Myself as a Medical Assistant Anymore": Learning to Become a Health Coach, in Our Own Voices
Willard-Grace, Rachel; Najmabadi, Adriana; Araujo, Christina; Canizalez, Dalia; DeVore, Denise
i.e.: inquiry in education, v4 n2 Article 2 Nov 2013
Health coaching may improve the health of patients with chronic conditions, and the model is growing in popularity. However, little is known about the experience of becoming a Health Coach. We explored our experiences as medical assistants moving into new roles as health coaches, a trainer of health coaches, and their supporting team. A focus group was conducted in November 2012 with three health coaches and one health coach trainer. Using participatory methods, our whole team, including the health coaches, took part in data analysis. We found that learning to become a Health Coach required embracing a radically new role and "unlearning" old ways of thinking, which is transformative but also at times uncomfortable. In our new role as health coaches, in contrast to our work as medical assistants, we work to meet patients "where they are at," and we are more focused on the needs of the patient, rather than the needs of the clinician. Health coaching is emotionally intensive; as health coaches we need robust emotional and instrumental support in our new role. Organizations training Health Coaches should be aware of the dramatic shift in perspective that this new role requires and the support that is needed to help medical assistants as they move into this new role.
Center for Practitioner Research at National Louis University. 122 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603. Tel: 800-443-5522 x2277; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California (San Francisco)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A