Dibs, PhysioProf.

Sep 30 2011 Published by under Academics

Has anyone else heard this surgeon guy with the "professional coach" book he's shilling?

"The coaching model [is] what you think of with athletes and singers, who have someone who coaches them all the way through their career, even if they're one of the best in the world. But violinists and surgeons β€” at least in our theory of how we're supposed to do it β€” we don't. You go to medical school, you go to Juilliard, and you graduate. You get a degree, you get in your 10,000 hours of practice, and then some cream [is] supposed to rise to the top.

"But I was really struck by how different these models are and tried to understand it ... I had a fascinating discussion with Itzhak Perlman, the great violinist, and I said, 'Why don't violinists have coaches, but singers do?' And he said, 'I don't know, but I think it's a mistake.'

"He said he had a coach his entire career. In his case, his wife ...

Do we need coaches, Professoriat? At the lectern or at the bench, okay, Atul Gawande covered that. But what about the rest of it?

Reviewing manuscripts or grants. Writing them. Advising trainees. Collaborating.

Would we benefit from professional coaching?

53 responses so far

  • Neuropop says:

    Aren't "mentors", i.e. senior faculty supposed to fill that role, at least for the newbies? I am not sure Gawande advocates a "professional" coach, but suggests that someone who can consistently critique you even though you think you are on top of your game can really improve matters. At least in my department, most senior colleagues are more than willing to tear apart your latest shiny manuscript and put it back together again. R01s are a different beast....there is time to critique someone else's proposal while you are putting together yours for the same deadline.

    One thing that we newbies managed to get started along these lines was a faculty brownbag lunch series. Now all faculty give a research presentation, either on a new manuscript they are pulling together, a new R01 or a new research direction. This serves as an informal study section/review panel (absent some characteristic study section behavior, though) and has proved extremely valuable. We also have an informal network of other junior and not-so-junior folks who get together for lunch. All of these can serve the role of a "coach".

    So, in summary, yes, I think "coaching" is good and essential. The particular form it may take varies. In the professoriat, one doesn't have to have a paid hack as a coach necessarily.

  • Of course everyone needs coaches! Duh.

  • Namnezia says:

    I could benefit from some dude slapping me every time I stray from writing my grant.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Neuropop raises the consideration that our profession is already doing this so it doesn't offer anything novel.....

    [and c'mon PP, I thought you would have something more to say about the notion that a surgeon willingly asked for technical coaching on his surgical skills!]

  • iGrrrl says:

    Guess I'm in the paid hack category, as neuropop puts it. ;-> In the context of working with someone on a grant proposal, I end up doing other kinds of things that might constitute coaching. I also get questions they feel they can't discuss with their chairs or anyone in their tenure line. Most of the faculty I've worked with seem to think I'm fairly useful. But I come and go, like the guy you take a lesson from to improve one aspect of your swing.

    One of the things I strongly urge is that if they don't have the kind of brown-bag group neuropop describes, they should start one. It not only creates a good intellectual environment, it gives them something to talk about w/r/t their intellectual environment on the Other section of Facilities and Other Resources, or in the NIH "Environment - Contribution to Success" on the NIH facilities page.

  • drugmonkey says:

    If you didn't make your deadline, Namnezia, I am going to slap you.

  • DJMH says:

    Now I want the t-shirt:

    DRUGMONKEY IS MY LIFE COACH.

    And on the back,

    PHYSIOPROF IS MY LANGUAGE COACH.

  • Isn't that what many of you are providing? Can, we benefit from a more formalized system of mentoring / coaching - hell yeahs as

  • qaz says:

    I don't need a coach. What I want is an agent!

  • Susan says:

    Absolutely.

    Most faculty are hired for their success in research, and promptly made managers. Does the title of Professor somehow automatically make you a good communicator, a good organizer, a good team leader? I would guess that many labs would run a lot better with some coaching in these areas, in which we receive so little training.

    I would guess that some of the success of coaching comes from its positioning outside the ranks of boss and trainee. Neither a job nor one's hold on power is threatened by outside coaching. As an employee, I can't offer anything but the most circumspect 'feedback' to my horribly disorganized boss, and her position or face as a leader is threatened if she so much as hints at admitting weakness or needing help in that area. A coach could mitigate those structural problems.

    A counterpoint: what, if any, down-sides are there to coaching?

  • 404 Not Found says:

    DM, what happened to your Sb archives? You never even responded to my last comment, which was carefully written in good faith as a response to a question from you.

    And now you are gossiping about me again on Twitter and suggesting I would be "dangerous" if I had a blog!? wtf? This is nonsense. Unless you are hiding something...

  • 404 Not Found says:

    Oops that was from me, Isabel.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Nat Geo took over ScienceBlogs and decided they were not comfortable with pseudbloggers, Isabel. So I departed.

  • Isabel says:

    And left your whole archive behind? Just like that? I just think that the timing was weird (right after my response), and that your lack of response to my efforts was a little rude. I am trying to have an honest discussion in good faith here.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Right Isabel. It was all about you, you got me.

  • Isabel says:

    It is weird to ask a question on an important topic, saying "it sounds like you are saying something interesting Isabel what exactly do you mean" and to then ignore the reply for several days and then go ahead with the move. Why didn't you acknowledge my reply and admit that you were wrong? You and others were making an incorrect assertion about a particular ethnic group, which I took great pains to refute, and you ignored me. If you disagreed you could have said so and provided some counter evidence.

    This was by no means the first time this has happened (your stupid 11% tea bagger post was another example) and I have no doubt that the same type of false accusations will spring from your keyboard again. Funny how you were tweeting about me again at that time, insinuating that I am dangerous...maybe I am. In a good way. πŸ™‚

  • drugmonkey says:

    Dangerous? You? Uh-huh....

  • Isabel says:

    You said I was comparatively harmless (as compared to Clarissa) because I don't have a blog. That implies that I would be dangerous if I had a blog, no? I just would like an acknowledgment that I was right, and an apology for not responding sooner.

  • Isabel says:

    Otherwise I might have to get a blog. πŸ™‚

  • I just think that the timing was weird (right after my response), and that your lack of response to my efforts was a little rude.

    Yeah, Loonabel, DrugMonkey shut down his blogge and erased his entire archive because he was too afraid to respond to one of your incisive comments.

  • drugmonkey says:

    You said I was comparatively harmless (as compared to Clarissa) because I don't have a blog.

    I don't recall, but are you certain I didn't just say "harmless"?

  • drugmonkey says:

    You and others were making an incorrect assertion about a particular ethnic group, which I took great pains to refute, and you ignored me.

    Is this about your denialism of the Ginther paper on NIH grant disparity? And your insistence that Appalachian-Americans represent some suspect class that requires some sort of distinction from other white people?

  • Isabel says:

    "denialism"

    No, you are in denial. I made my position clear.

    btw it was cached on google and I saved it, along with the 11% TB post.

    The conversation you refer to naturally evolved into one about the biomed field in general and the ethnic composition. Several people used pie charts to compare the composition of the population with that of the industries being discussed. My comment was about the complete bullshit of accusing the supposedly racist "lily white" "anglo" "white majority" etc of holding on to their majority representation in this field (or any science field for that matter). Or representation at Ivies, which leads to important and influential positions in such fields. In all these arenas the afore mentioned group is a minority, and is probably as underrepresented as blacks.

    Again, what is your agenda, Drugmonkey?

  • Isabel says:

    And please cool it with the smug, sarcastic, references to "Appalachian-Americans ", who were never once mentioned in the discussion. I have two small nephews growing up in West Virginia, and they deserve as much respect as any human being. Please look in the mirror, cop to your privilege, and try to wrap your head around this idea.

    Why do you hate rural Americans so much, DM? I see you and becca are still employing "redneck" hashtags. And then you want to lecture to the rest of us about tolerance and diversity.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    btw it was cached on google and I saved it, along with the 11% TB post.

    bully for you.

    the complete bullshit of accusing the supposedly racist "lily white" "anglo" "white majority" etc of holding on to their majority representation in this field (or any science field for that matter). Or representation at Ivies, which leads to important and influential positions in such fields. In all these arenas the afore mentioned group is a minority, and is probably as underrepresented as blacks.

    This is false. In wondering what you are on about, I'll note that the only thing one can extract from your various meanderings on the topic is that somehow you consider Jewish individuals something other than "white". This is not a conventional viewpoint on the usual (i.e., US Census type, Federal entity data collection) distinctions that are used with respect to ethnicity and race. Since these latter are the points under discussion, particularly with the Ginther dataset, I'm not sure where you justify your rather interesting take on the matter.

    Again, what is your agenda, Drugmonkey?

    My agenda on these issues is as it ever was. Identifying, emphasizing and criticizing systematic barriers to the fair and equal participation of the best of the best in the scientific enterprise.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Why do you hate rural Americans so much, DM?

    What makes you think that I do?

    the smug, sarcastic, references to "Appalachian-Americans "....they deserve as much respect as any human being.

    You know perfectly well that my deployment of this term is pointed at *you* and your OppressionOlympics falsehoods and not at rural white underprivileged populations.

    BTW, have you taken a look through the DonorsChoose projects for some high-poverty, rural, majority white schools? I noticed a few...

  • Isabel says:

    "Jewish individuals something other than "white". "

    I don't think Jews are usually considered:

    a) Anglo

    or

    b) lily white

    Do you agree with that? I sincerely asked this question of both you and Physioprof several times and never received an answer. So, let's get that clear first. Do you consider yourself lily white? Or Anglo?

    "In wondering what you are on about"

    I can repost my comment if you can't remember it. I took great pains to make my point as clear as possible and I think I succeeded. The composition of science academics has changed very dramatically and is not in any way dominated by Anglos (the majority of US whites) today! The fact that probably *half* the "white" PIs in in biomed are now Jews, a formerly oppressed group that represents a mere 2% of the US population is not relevant to the discussion of whether the white majority is moving over and making room for minorities??

    Again the non-Jewish white majority is as under-represented as blacks. Whether that is a good or bad, or fair or unfair thing is a topic for another discussion. What is definitely *not* fair* and completely false is the implication that the white Anglo majority is hanging on to their dominance in biomed, science in general, or academia in general.

  • Isabel says:

    "You know perfectly well that my deployment of this term is pointed at *you* and your OppressionOlympics falsehoods"

    But you can't name even one "faleshood" can you?

    " and not at rural white underprivileged populations. "

    Wait, I thought they were ignorant pig-fuckers who deserved their lot? Oh yeah, that was PP and Bigot Brayton. Nevermind.

    "BTW, have you taken a look through the DonorsChoose projects for some high-poverty, rural, majority white schools? I noticed a few..."

    Your concern brings tears to my eyes. Now, I wonder what the percentage of students at Ivy league colleges and in BioMed from such backgrounds is? Is *this* a concern of yours? Evidence?

  • drugmonkey says:

    Again the non-Jewish white majority is as under-represented as blacks

    Oh?

    fact that probably *half* the "white" PIs in in biomed are now Jews,

    "probably" indicates you are just making this up from whole cloth and undercuts your use of "fact" quite severely.

    So in your view, Isabel, only the Anglo is "white"? No inclusion of those of scandanavian, Spanish, Italian, russian........etc origin? We need to be careful to match representation for all of these groupings do we?

  • Isabel says:

    "only the Anglo is "white"?"

    Wow, way to twist my words DM! I said nothing of the kind. The question isn't who is "white" but who is "lily white" (your expression btw) and who is "anglo".

    ""probably" indicates you are just making this up from whole cloth"

    Yeah I should have said "at least". But it IS an undeniable fact. Are you seriously denying this? Seriously?

    "So in your view, Isabel, only the Anglo is "white"? No inclusion of those of scandanavian, Spanish, Italian, russian"

    Actually the reason I keep putting Anglo in quotes is that as a very NON-anglo souther European white, whose ancestors were lorded over quite harshly by Anglos for centuries, I take offense to the term. Calling all whites Anglos is like calling all Central and South American hispanics "Mexicans". But I am pretty sure this is not a term that has traditionally included Jews.

    Now, could you answer my questions?

  • Congratulations, Loonabel!! You have successfully polluted yet another of DrugMonkey's threads with your paranoid ravings about jews!! You get a gold star!!

  • drugmonkey says:

    As far as I can recall Isabel, I used "lily white" to refer to Institutions, if I did so at all. In reference to their white/nonwhite makeup rather than the relative pallidity within those who are conventional, at this time, in the US considered to be white. I doubt I use Anglo much at all. Given this, your attempts to create distinctions arise from your own viewpoints and attempts to establish some subset of whites as a suspect class that requires protections. It does not arise from any distinctions that I make. This is why there is no point in addressing your stupid question that arises from your own bigotry.

  • Isabel says:

    "As far as I can recall Isabel, I used "lily white" to refer to Institutions, if I did so at all."

    If you did so at all. Wow.

    I think DM deserves the gold star here.

    You did so. So, which lily white institutions were you referring to? Why do you consider them lily white, in 2011, and how does this lead to discrimination against blacks?

    "In reference to their white/nonwhite makeup rather than the relative pallidity within those who are conventional, at this time, in the US considered to be white."

    I cannot begin to understand this sentence. Hopefully your science writing isn't this bad. What the hell is relative pallidity??

    "...your attempts to create distinctions arise from your own viewpoints and attempts to establish some subset of whites as a suspect class that requires protections"

    This is complete nonsense that furthermore has nothing to do with the issue we are discussing. Instead of imagining what is going on in my head, let's discuss the issue at hand.

    And sorry PP, I am talking about "anglos" and "lily white" institutions here, who were blamed for the lack of success of blacks in your field. I am trying to get to the bottom of this accusation which rings false. Stop making it all about you.

    You are the scumbag bigot, I have never said one bigoted word. Nothing that even comes close to the offensive crap you have spewed.

  • Isabel says:

    "your paranoid ravings about jews"

    This is a classic example of projection. It is people like you and DM who are polluting the discussion with your paranoid ravings about non-existent lily-white/anglo institutions. Lily-white has an undeniable association with conservative, openly racist laws and organizations. DM did not use Anglo himself (I never said he did) but others did on threads he participated in, or talked about the white majority. Or showed pie charts showing the white majority in the population and the white majority in the supposedly "lily white" institutions DM is referring to. But the composition of these two "white majorities" is completely different, as I pointed out in the previous thread. The white majority in the population is no longer reflected in the institutions or in the universities that feed them.

    It's like grouping all the non-whites together. So, more Asians makes up for less Blacks, by your logic.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Ok, so if it is not white majority, white dominated academic institutions and structures that are at fault for the demonstrated disparity of success of black and brown individuals within those structures...what or who is at fault?

  • drugmonkey says:

    Lily-white has an undeniable association with conservative, openly racist laws and organizations.

    Hahahah, perhaps to you. Academic institutions are hardly conservative or openly racist anymore. They continue to be dominated by majority white culture, nevertheless. And to exhibit bias of a no doubt covert and/or unconscious nature.

  • drugmonkey says:

    The white majority in the population is no longer reflected in the institutions or in the universities that feed them.

    Again, demonstrably false. Unless you have a definition of "white" which does not accord with the aforementioned consensus, Federal approach to race and ethnicity. This approach, mind you, is very far from arbitrary.

    You obviously wish to make arbitrary distinctions within the "white" category since you seem to think differences akin to African-/Asian- American distinctions exist. On this you are full of crap. Those of Scandinavian versus Anglo versus Mediterranean etc origin in the US culture are functionally equivalent on the basis of appearance in the present US academic culture. Your usual economic argument has been falsified on at least two grounds in the past. All you are apparently left with is creating "Jews" as the alleged new dominating class which oppresses "whites", a class to which they do not belong in your view, I surmise?

  • Isabel says:

    "Ok, so if it is not white majority, white dominated academic institutions and structures that are at fault for the demonstrated disparity of success of black and brown individuals within those structures...what or who is at fault?"

    You are obsessed with finding a scapegoat.

    "Academic institutions are hardly conservative or openly racist anymore."

    Exactly.

    "dominated by majority white culture,"

    Okay now what are you talking about? How do you define this phrase? As I keep pointing out, their composition is completely different from the majority white culture of the US.

    "All you are apparently left with is creating "Jews" as the alleged new dominating class which oppresses "whites"..."

    Your paranoia knows no bounds.

  • Isabel says:

    "All you are apparently left with is creating "Jews" as the alleged new dominating class which oppresses "whites"..."

    Your paranoia knows no bounds.

    ...On the other hand, maybe you are on to something! πŸ˜€

  • Isabel says:

    "Those of Scandinavian versus Anglo versus Mediterranean etc origin in the US culture are functionally equivalent on the basis of appearance in the present US academic culture."

    Are you saying their numbers are similar in the population and in the academic culture? I don't think so.

  • drugmonkey says:

    "pointing out"? Hardly Isabel. That would require some evidence, clear definitions and/or rationale which you seem reluctant to produce. You keep "saying" this, sure, but that doesn't really help advance a discussion.

  • Isabel says:

    I can see that as with every social issue that you blog about, whether it be diversity, drug laws, or capital punishment, you are playing games. I can no longer believe for one second that you are sincere in your anti-racism.

    You are also incapable of having an open and honest, straightforward discussion, which is the only kind of discussion I am interested in having. You are not interested in truth, you want to pull the wool over peoples' eyes.

    I mean, what the hell are you talking about with this last comment? YOU are the one with the slippery definitions. I made my case clearly ages ago. If you wanted *evidence* of the actual numbers why didn't you say so then? Of course, we all know that you know that I am correct in my rough estimates. And rationale?? wtf? Why do I need a "rationale"??

    Anyway, this information is available to anyone. Google is your friend, and there will be absolutely no need to look at any scary hate sites. As I am sure you are well aware.

    Anyway, the onus is on the people who made the *original* accusation, that these lily white anglo institutions reflect the composition of the general population, suggesting active maintenance of some sort of status quo, to provide evidence. Let's see that evidence. You know as well as I do that it does not exist. Anyone who believes this will be in for a big surprise when they look at the actual evidence.

  • Funky Fresh says:

    You mean that actual evidence that Isabel refuses to provide! SURPRISE!!!!!

    I write papers the same way. I just say shit. Then, when people as me for the source of my claims I just reply "Google is your friend, bitch!!!" Saves me from all the CWYW bullshit Monkey's been on about lately.

  • Isabel says:

    Ugh I hate when I edit and then don't reread my comments. Those two "Anyways" are awful πŸ™

    Fucky Face, when you write a paper and people ask for the source of your claims do you, like DM, demand that they supply evidence that you are wrong?

    "actual evidence that Isabel refuses to provide!"

    Refuses??? No one even asked for it. Are you asking for it? Seriously?

  • Isabel says:

    Also Fucky, I assume when you are writing a paper you are discussing brand new discoveries and information. We are talking here about old knowledge, easily available to anyone. Do you cite common knowledge?

    More aptly, suppose you claimed that humans were a species of fungi in your paper. Your reviewers explained that this was clearly false. Would you then demand that they provide evidence?

  • drugmonkey says:

    No, Isabel, I don't agree with your "estimates". And in fact I have known many professors, across a range of ages, who are very braggy about how they (white dudes all) have ascended out of poor, rural, underrepresented white backgrounds. The numbers still far outstrip the visibly black professors. I can but assume that there are plenty of additional white professorial types of rural, poor and/or otherwise underadvantaged backgrounds that simply do not make a big deal of it in my presence. Even if there are not, the blowhard types suffice to make the point. Your agenda in trying to assert that your favored Appalachian-American class is disadvantaged relative to African-Americans when it comes to the professorial careers is complete bollocks.

  • Isabel says:

    wtf are you talking about??? This conversation has NOTHING to do with Appalachians! Man oh man, I just don't know what to say here. Now you are on about some people you yacked it up with?? And wtf you knew an Appalachian professor? Haha that's a good one. We all know what that means. I thought we were discussing statistics? With every post you dig yourself deeper. Also dude we are talking about representation not raw numbers. Jeesh. I am embarrassed for you.

    "Your agenda in trying to assert that your favored Appalachian-American class is disadvantaged relative to African-Americans when it comes to the professorial careers is complete bollocks."

    Who said this??? My agenda? My agenda is clearing the name of the group you are scapegoating. DM, you mentioned a couple of times that there was a lot of arguing and discussing in the home you grew up in. Were your parents by any chance lawyers? That might help explain things.

  • Isabel says:

    Look, I dread checking this blog thread, yet feel compelled to. But I am getting no pleasure from this argument. It is very easy to find the correct statistics; any interested lurker can do it and I highly recommend doing so. I won't be dragged into your trap. But I'll be keeping an eye on you. Stick to the facts from now on, okay? Or better yet, keep your mouth shut and stick to grant advice.

  • Isabel says:

    "Also Fucky, I assume when you are writing a paper you are discussing brand new discoveries and information."

    Or specialized background knowledge I should add. But if you really, really want some references Fucky, I can't provide them unfortunately, but I highly recommend that you give google a try. I can't provide them because it is kind of pointless here on the blog of the dodgy son of two non-stop arguing lawyers. I have never once gotten anywhere over here. Instead of my references being taken seriously I will be labeled a you-know-what, and then before you know it I will be receiving hate mail at home. It is much better if people would check on their own. And remember, DM has no statistics to prove his assertions, which I am only responding to.

    By the way are you DM's sockpuppet or PP's?

  • Look, I dread checking this blog thread, yet feel compelled to.

    I have never once gotten anywhere over here.

    LOON ALERT!

  • Funky Fresh says:

    "Do you cite common knowledge? "

    Yes. And what you're talking about sure ain't common knowledge.

    " But if you really, really want some references Fucky, I can't provide them unfortunately, but I highly recommend that you give google a try."

    So I can google them, but you can't? I'm just sayin', I ain't the one spouting loonery.

  • It is common knowledge that those damn dirty swarthy jews are taking over everything!

  • Isabel says:

    Physioprof, I am honored that you came all the way over here from "free thought" blogs to join the discussion. I am so happy for you that you found a radical, progressive place where you can blog about and openly share photos of your $200+ sushi lunches.

    "So I can google them, but you can't?"

    I just explained why I don't want to (not can't). Good Luck.

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