Lifelong learning and the value of coaching

A/Prof Sarah Thompson, MD Year 4 Topic Coordinator and upper gastrointestinal surgeon, recently published a commentary about lifelong learning as a surgeon and the value of coaching. Access the article

Sarah is one of 112 Learning Coaches in the Flinders MD. While she benefits from coaching in the clinical environment, she’s also supporting medical students through  four years of the medical course. MD Year 4 students Cassandra Larobina and Jordan Evens share their reflections about the  Flinders MD Learning Coach program.


“The Learning Coach program has been a source of support for me over my time as a medical student. Engaging regularly with my portfolio has enabled me to develop my organisational and reflective skills. I now find myself instinctively planning goals and reflecting on my practice daily, even outside the scope of Mahara posts. The program helped guide me through points of transition during my degree when I was uncertain about how to approach new workloads. During the clinical years of medical school, the program gave structure to my placements and learning plans as I have been able to organise what skills, knowledge, and professional experiences I want to gain from my clinical learning environments. Associate Professor Sarah Thompson has been an excellent Learning Coach who has helped me overcome personal and professional issues encountered throughout my degree. For someone like me, who had no family or friends in the medical field, Associate Professor Thompson has been a great source of guidance and support, and someone I have been able to contact for advice on the best way to set myself up for different career prospects.”

Cassandra Larobina, MD Year 4 student


“The MD degree is a long journey, and yet it is only the beginning of medical training. There are many new concepts to learn and skills to master and at many points, it can feel overwhelming and scary. Being linked with a Learning Coach in our first year has given us an opportunity for guidance, feedback and support. Knowing that I have an experienced clinician in Associate Professor Sarah Thompson in my corner has been so reassuring in times of doubt. Having regular meetings and receiving feedback has helped me to reflect on and evaluate my own progress and enabled me to navigate my personal and professional development.”

–  Jordan Evens, MD Year 4 student


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