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Do you need a coach?
  1. Geraint Fuller
  1. Correspondence to Dr Geraint Fuller, Department of Neurology, Gloucester Royal Hospital, Gloucester, Gloucestershire GL1 3NN, UK; geraint.fuller{at}

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Usain Bolt, Novak Djokovic and Michael Phelps are all top athletes and probably the very best in the world at what they do. They have one other thing in common; they all have coaches. There are many outstanding neurologists across the world. They also have one thing in common. They almost certainly do not have coaches.

In a recent article Atul Gawande,1 a surgeon and writer, described his own experiences of coaching. He tried it for tennis, with success, so he tried it for surgery. His experiences are interesting. He recruited an experienced retired surgeon that he respected as a coach. His coach then watched him in the operating theatre. Talking about ‘tissue tension’, positioning of drapes, interactions with assistants, his coach provided a fresh view of his operating technique—an external eye, a fresh look. Gawande found the advice and observations of his coach very helpful.

While this is anecdote rather than evidence, the idea that an experienced clinician observing your clinical practice could …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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