Coaching Youth: “Finding Your Purpose”

Coaching Corner by Able Coach

By Dr Shan Narayanan

Hi ALL it is time for Coaching……

Times have changed! Young people of today are from an entirely different generation. They think and work differently.  Most if not all young people of today are “care free”.

In a newspaper article in March 2017, Ministry of health of Malaysia said that at least 20% to 30% of junior doctors fail to complete the two years of houseman training due to work challenges and stress.

The Malaysian Medical Association, Perak Branch, under the guidance of the visionary, late Dr R.P. Japaraj started the “House Officers Survival Skills Course” 7 years ago.  This year the branch, rebranded the workshop as “House Officers Essential Skills Course” which included a half a day session on understanding the houseman’s perspective of the situation.

The session was called “Perspectives”. The primary aim being to evoke an awareness within the young doctors, it is their perspective of a situation that has a major role in the outcome.

Being a doctor and a certified coach, I was invited to conduct this session. I conducted this session along with 3 other coaches from the Malaysian Association of Certified Coaches.

What did we do…… What was the outcome?

This is how the session went………


Writing things down helps one to express their thoughts and feelings they find difficult to put into words.

Through the journaling session we understood that 85% of those who attended, chose medicine as a career due to a family decision. They were uncertain of their purpose in their job.

This explains the lack of motivation and the contributing factor for their inability to cope with the system.

Group Discussion:

This session provided the opportunity to express themselves. The coaches listened to their views without being judgemental. There was a huge outpour of the highly hierarchical and structured system in their hospital.

The coaches facilitated a discussion in their respective groups on what the young doctors could do to manage in the system other than feel resentment.


It is time for fun……. we moved on to the Hula Hoop Pass Activity. The youngsters were divided into two groups. Each group was to pass a hula hoop from one end to another as quickly as possible without breaking handholds. They were timed. They then repeated the activity to beat their first timing. This was a fun and energetic activity.

This activity enlightened them about the importance of a positive mind-set, setting goals, strategizing, communicating and supporting each other in order to complete a task.

By the end of the session, the young doctors became aware that they need to find a purpose in their job and change their perspective of the system to cope.

As we ended the day, one of them came up to us and said, I was at the verge of giving up, however, after attending this session, “ I am motivated and am going to go all the way till I become a Paediatric Cardiologist”………a mission accomplished!

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