Finding a coach in clinical chemistry

I was inspired by a New Yorker article by Atul Gawande, which is here. As a practicing surgeon, Dr. Gawande wanted someone to advise him on how he was doing. He had previously had a coaching experience in tennis, which happened by chance. He did engage a retired surgeon to coach him and I suggest you read the article.

I took up snowboarding a few years ago and while I seemed to do everything right, I had trouble on steeper hills. I finally hired an instructor who said, “you’re not leaning forward enough” and the problem was solved.

With my pilot’s license, I can legally fly whenever I want but some of my landings were not very good. I had to convince myself that it was ok to ask for help and then it was easy to hire an instructor to help me since I rent from a flight school – “lower the nose, don’t turn final until you see the PAPI”.

As a private pilot, “whenever” assumes that the weather meets certain minimums, I have had a flight review within two years, and that if I want to take passengers, I have had three take-offs and landings within 90 days. Thus, there are conditions to exercise the privilege and an attempt to evaluate proficiency. If one is a board certified clinical chemist, I am unaware of any type of proficiency check.

When I first started at Technicon Instruments, I had two coaches – Dr. Stan Bauer and Cuthbert Daniel. Both helped me a lot. I have also taken courses over the years, many of which helped. Writing papers (especially with coauthors) and preparing laboratory standards (CLSI) has also been helpful.

Now as an independent statistical consultant, finding someone to coach me is not easy. But I’m looking.


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