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Christopher Sankey, MD, FACP, SFHM

Associate Professor of Internal Medicine (General Medicine); Associate Professor of Medicine, General Internal Medicine; Director, Program in Hospital Medicine, General Internal Medicine; Co-Firm Chief, Hospital Medicine Firm, General Internal Medicine; Core Faculty, Quality Improvement and Physician Leadership Distinction Pathway, Residency Programs; Faculty Director, Hospital Medicine Elective Rotation, Residency Programs

I got into coaching more than ten years into practice as a clinician-educator in internal medicine. In addition to seeing an increasing frequency of physicians grappling with the challenges of wellness and the impostor phenomenon, I saw the need to help guide learners through an increasingly complex clinical learning environment. For me, coaching is low-stakes, learner-centric, and rooted in relationships. I see coaching as an essential tool to celebrate the diversity of all medical leaners. As a medical student, I wish I had received more advice regarding the expected plasticity and fluidity of medical careers. I presumed everything was set in stone and that the decisions I made in medical school (and subsequently) were irrevocable. It is pervasive that as students, we assume that everyone around us has everything figured out. As such, we often do not understand that the uncertainty many of us experience in career decisions is normal. In medicine (the career, not the specialty), we all evolve, grow, and change, and this is developmentally appropriate—it is not a defect! Diverse learners follow diverse trajectories, and as a coach I enjoy helping learners reflect on, process, and navigate the journey.