University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health

The COACH Program: Overview


The goal of a supervising teacher is to coach a learner through the steps needed to have a permanent change in behavior.

Steps to effective feedback

COACH diagram

  1. Observe behaviors and divide into positive feedback and areas for growth
  2. Use the Four box model to provide this feedback:
    + Continue this Do more of this
    - Do this differently Do less of this

    Your “this” should be very specific:
    Focus on demonstrated actions and behaviors rather than on the person
    Focus on descriptions instead of judgment
  3. Provide next steps as specific directions and tasks for growth, instead of generalities
  4. Identify the specific outcomes you would like to see as a result of the tasks
  5. Tell the learner why this is important


The following overview video primarily discusses use of COACH Program methodology for medical students; however, the same strategies are appropriate for other learners, including postgraduate medical trainees.