Members of staff talking at a desk

Why is this important? 

There is a growing body of research highlighting the potential benefits of health coaching as an intervention for promoting health behaviour change to help manage chronic diseases associated with modifiable risk factors. This holds particular importance in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic in supporting patients to improve their overall health and reduce complications from possible COVID-19 infection. Health coaching approaches are also at the heart of shared decision-making and support patients to actively participate in managing their health and wellbeing through being co-partners in the healthcare journey. This coaching approach and solution-oriented mindset can equally be applied to navigate the complex landscapes in medical education, healthcare and more widely.  

Innovation and research 

MEdIC has developed innovative coaching training courses for medical students, with research supporting the notion that coaching skills can support students to develop person-centred approaches to healthcare and behaviour change, developing advanced interpersonal communication skills and study skills. This has led to the development of discrete health coaching training for all Year 2 medical students who are then able to apply their skills to real patients, as well as student choice placements offered for Year 3 and Year 5 medical students. Research MEdIC has conducted also suggests such coaching training helps students to develop a solution focused mindset supporting reflection, resilience and wellbeing.  

MEdIC also leads bespoke courses on inclusive coaching skills for medical educators and the wider community. These courses promote the use of learner-centred, collaborative conversations in addressing local and global health inequalities. Our previous work has included developing health coaching training for the Grenfell Outreach Team, to support their work with residents affected by the 2017 Grenfell Fire disaster and health coaching training for those working in deprived areas in primary care settings. 

MEdIC has developed a popular Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) in Coaching Skills for Learner-Centred Conversations, designed in conjunction with EdX and Imperial’s Digital Learning Hub, which was launched in March 2020 and currently has participants from over 130 countries.  

Coaching Skills for Learner-Centred Conversations - MOOC - edX - ImperialX

MOOC: Coaching Skills for Learner-Centred Conversations

We will also shortly be launching a new freely accessible MOOC on Health Coaching Conversations aimed at healthcare practitioners and students who would like to learn how to hold more empowering conversations with patients about their health and wellbeing. 

MEdIC has worked with colleagues from a range of national and global institutions interested in coaching for leadership, education and health including Harvard Medical School and the International Centre for Coaching and Mentoring Studies, based at the Oxford Brookes Business School. This work has included developing educational and research collaborations relating to coaching-based educational innovations, facilitating training workshops and consultancy. 


Current active projects

  • Design, implementation and evaluation of a MOOC on coaching skills for learner-centred conversations
  • Design, implementation and evaluation of a new health coaching course for Year 2 medical students 

Selected publications

Medical students as health coaches: adding value for patients and students
Maini, A., Fyfe, M., Kumar, S.
BMC Medical Education 2020 June; 20:182. 

Coaching for Health: Why it works and how to do it
Maini, A. 
In: Coaching and Mentoring at Work
London: Open University Press, 2017
Connor M, Pokora J.  

Coaching for Health: Why it works and how to do it
London: Open University Press
Rogers J, Maini A. 2016

Selected presentations

The impact of moving from role play to real play in supporting coaching skills development in medical students 
Fyfe, M., Maini, A. 
Coaching in Leadership and Healthcare Conference 2019 

Introducing a health coaching mindset into medical student consultations
Maini, A., Fyfe, M. 
Coaching in Leadership and Healthcare Conference 2019 

Training medical students in health coaching skills: What works? 
Maini, A., Fyfe, M., Kumar, S. 
Developing Excellence in Medical Education conference (DEMEC) 2019 

Training medical students in health coaching skills 
Maini, A., Kumar, S., Fyfe, M.
Association for Medical Education in Europe conference (AMEE) 2019 

Training medical students in health coaching skills: a socially accountable way forward?
Maini, A., Kumar, S. 
Global Community Engaged Medical Education Muster Conference 2018