September 27, 2021

Coaching Circles

Radiology Partners, Chicago

  • Syam Reddy, MD

“At the end of it all, people feel they have learned techniques to attain their personal goals, develop a better perspective on their concerns and create new connections with people across our practice.”

- Syam Reddy, MD


In 2016, Radiology Partners began a coaching circle initiative to give both physicians and nonphysicians a place to confidentially share pressing issues — concerns with leadership or professional/personal matters. The charge of the circle participants is not to solve others’ problems or judge actions but to listen and allow the person sharing to develop new perspectives and to develop internal resources to overcome their challenges. The goal is for the participants to experience personal growth and development.

Each circle of 8–10 people meets virtually every other week for six months, at an agreed upon time, sometimes after work hours. The timing allows individuals to be present and produce more free-flowing conversation, without concern for interruptions.

To start this program, Radiology Partners brought in an executive coach focused on wellness and leadership development. Once the program was established, interested practice physicians, including Syam Reddy, MD, as well as nonphysician teammates, received training after participating in multiple rounds of coaching circles and stepped up to lead a “cohort” of individuals.

Although much of each meeting is driven by the needs of the participants, each circle typically begins with a short, 5–10 minute didactic session on personality traits, meditation information or resiliency techniques, for example. The majority of the time is focused on group members’ challenges and personal growth initiatives.

OUTCOME: Reddy has noticed that during the sessions, people will share that they feel more connected because other members have similar experiences. He believes the coaching circles help people relate to one another, decrease isolation, and allow participants to develop internal resiliency and experience personal growth.



Dr. Reddy notes that having an informational presentation prior to starting each session will help set expectations for those who are interested. Being present and committed to being on the video conference call every two weeks is important and helps ensure stability and continuity between members. This type of well-being activity can work in both academic and private practice settings and could potentially occur during work hours, if members’ availability allows.