And it seems that the American Medical Association (AMA) now feels the same way since it recently recommended that doctors use Health Coaches in their practices.
What this says is that Health Coaches are now being recognized as a huge value-add to doctors’ practices in that they are able to fill a role and bridge a gap between doctors and patients that most doctors simply don’t have the time or training to do themselves.
And more good news is that Health Coaches who receive our specialized training at Health Coach Institute are uniquely equipped with the tools necessary to facilitate habit change for such patients because they know that: Knowledge does not equal behavior change.
This is one of the many reasons patients walk away from doctors’ offices and struggle to make any, let alone lasting, changes. Just because they know their diagnosis or have some knowledge as to how to handle it, it doesn’t mean that once they return to their routines and daily habits that they will actually make changes let alone changes they want to make.
This is an extremely challenging situation for the doctor-patient relationship and does not bode well for the patient’s prognosis. The truth is that when people are making changes, big or small, to their lifestyle and habits, they need the type of support and accountability that doctors are unfortunately too maxed out to give.
But first patients need to understand what, if anything, is in the way of them making such changes. That’s why at Health Coach Institute one of our greatest assets lies in utilizing the Transformational Coaching Methodology, which significantly helps patients reframe their beliefs around what is keeping them stuck and thus change their habits.
Because it’s less about what you know and more about what you believe about what you know.
This is the reasoning behind why knowledge does not equal behavior change and why our coaches are experts in helping patients discover the underlying reasons for keeping themselves stuck in beliefs that perpetuate bad habits and prevent healthy regeneration of the whole person.
Here’s an example of a typical doctor-patient scenario that can backfire on a patient’s health outcome:
Imagine you’re at the doctor’s office and you get diagnosed with diabetes or heart disease or another potentially lifestyle-induced illness that requires not only medical treatment but lifestyle and behavior changes.
The way that modern medicine works is that doctors are specialized to provide an assessment upon your presentation of symptoms and to suggest a treatment or prescribe medication to aid in the relief or eradication of those symptoms.
After your doctor’s appointment and his/her assessment, you are sent home and, at best, given some instruction as to how to best proceed forward in terms of your health care but you are often left to figure out, or implement, such changes to your diet, lifestyle and overall health on your own.
This can be downright overwhelming, and the one place we often default to for advice and support with our health issues is the internet, which as we all know, can prove counterproductive to say the least.
After such diagnoses, what we need most, and receive little of, is support and accountability. We need someone to go the journey with us and help us navigate the often unfamiliar or daunting territory of health, wellness and lifestyle behavior changes that have so much to do with improving or changing our daily habits.
Why daunting? In this oversaturated, modern world of daily diet fads, health gurus galore and contradictory wellness advice, it’s hard to know where to begin. There are a multitude of ways to go in search of better health and since each person is unique, it’s just not a one-size-fits all type of solution. Yet we are often too busy to seek out the alternative, holistic approach to supplement our health care.
The AMA’s recent endorsement of Health Coaches to support physician practices speaks to this point because Health Coaches are professionally trained to help people make changes to their diet and lifestyle and to follow through in a way that no other healthcare professional can.
According to the AMA “Health coaching is a collaborative approach to care that informs, engages and activates patients to take a prominent role in managing their health. By bridging the gap between the physician and patient, health coaches can help practices improve patient engagement in their care, leading to healthier patients with better outcomes.”
Because a Health Coach is there as the patient’s number one fan, they have no ulterior motives other than to help their client reach their ultimate health goals, stay on track and become the absolute healthiest version of themselves in body, mind and spirit.
A Health Coach is not called a “coach” for no reason. Coaches are there with the number one aim of supporting you, stretching you and holding you accountable to the plan of action you choose to follow on your health and life path, granted that it’s in your best interests.
The AMA states that the goal of Health Coaching is “patient engagement and motivation,” which is the number one thing lacking, even following serious medical diagnoses. Doctors simply don’t have the bandwidth to follow through and keep their patients actively engaged and physically and spiritually motivated.
Another claim the AMA makes is that Health Coaches are “a bonus for patient and provider alike” because “physicians can rest assured that their recommendations are being communicated in a way that patients can understand and adhere to.”
The bottom line is that, according to the AMA, “Engaged and motivated patients have better outcomes.” And there is no better equipped person than a professionally trained Health Coach to help patients stay motivated and achieve top results.
Think of Health Coaches as the ideal liaison between doctor and patient, as the interpreter of complicated medical terminology and the missing link in the human loop of healthcare. The Health Coach’s role is really that powerful.
Write to us! What do you think about the role Health Coaches can play in the medical world? What’s your takeaway from the AMA’s recent endorsement?
For more info on Health Coaching call a Clarity Coach at (877) 914-2242!