Congratulations to Professor Brenda G. Fahy, MD, MCCM, who has received a Spring 2021 Faculty Enhancement Opportunity (FEO) award to complete a university-based Sherpa Executive Coaching Program to further her leadership and mentoring skills.
Dr. Fahy received $4,666 in FEO funding to attend the fully immersive program, which she hopes will equip her for her new role as the Associate Chair for Faculty Affairs and Professional Development in the Department of Anesthesiology.
The Sherpa Executive Coaching Program, which is offered through the University of Georgia, involves six phases with detailed virtual classroom sessions as well as provides support and guidance during a practicum assignment. Participants are assigned readings, including the entirety of two textbooks, one of which is The Sherpa Guide: Process-Driven Executive Coaching.
The training comes at a critical time as frontline healthcare workers grapple with the stress and uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. As frontline healthcare workers, anesthesiologists routinely perform the most infectious procedures in the course of their job. Dr. Fahy hopes to provide faculty, residents, and fellows with new skills and adaptations to navigate these challenges, especially burnout and stress reduction.
“The techniques learned from this course will allow me to have a broader impact in my role with the Department Wellness Committee that I Chair,” she said.
She aims to provide coaching through key professional milestones. Those milestones include starting a new position at UF, building skills for leadership roles (e.g., division chiefs, program directors and associate program directors, directors of a center, leaders of research teams or projects), and supporting promotions.
Dr. Fahy also hopes the training will improve her understanding of ways to promote diversity and guide colleagues in developing competency.
“Coaching can help learners at all levels including faculty to help evaluate and reflect where their performance stands and assist the learner to identify needs and create a plan on how to improve it,” Dr. Fahy said. “In this role, it also provides learners the opportunity to improve their own self-monitoring that will benefit them throughout their career.”
Dr. Fahy envisions developing training for a foundational set of skills to facilitate optimal individual performance, but also to create leadership development programs within the department. Ultimately, these programs could be expanded to the College of Medicine and UF. She plans to analyze the processes and outcomes of applying these principles and disseminate the information via scholarly publications.
The Sherpa Executive Coaching Program is based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The program’s world-leading educators and researchers have been training and certifying coaches since 2004.
UF awards FEO awards for “creative and flexible faculty development activities.” Awards are intended to contribute to the professional career goals of individual faculty members and the goals of the university overall.