Dr. Jeffrey Cohn, a retired oncologist, discusses his new venture, Care to Change Coaching, providing life-coaching for patients and their caregivers facing cancer and other serious illnesses, on this week’s Seekers of Meaning Podcast.
About the Guest
Dr. Jeffrey Cohn is a retired physician (hematologist/medical oncologist) who is excited to be embarking on a new chapter of his professional life as a Life Coach.
As I reflect on my career, I recognize that there have been several constants that, for me, have been my personal North Stars.
- My work has always been about helping people face life’s challenges and work to achieve the outcomes that are important to them, acquiring learning and healing along the way.
- I love being in relationship with those with whom I’m working, learning about them as people.
- I believe in the power and necessity of looking inward for the answers to most of life’s challenges; the resources we need and the answers we seek are within us and my role is to help people discover and create these resources and use them in pursuit of the outcomes they desire.
- Ongoing learning and personal growth are fundamentally important to me
I’m a native Philadelphian and I’ve spent most of my life in the Philadelphia region. After spending my undergraduate years in MA (Clark University), I returned to Philly for med school and internal medicine residency. My family and I traveled to Atlanta and Baltimore for my hematology/oncology fellowship (Emory, Johns Hopkins). For the first 15 years after fellowship I had a fully clinical life, taking care of people with cancer and blood disorders while teaching residents and doing clinical research. Toward the end of those 15 years I became aware that, while I still enjoyed my medical practice, I was ready for a new challenge- one that would help me continue to grow as a person while remaining true to those personal North Stars mentioned above.
I became the first Chief Quality Officer for my healthcare organization (Einstein in Philadelphia). I loved learning about change- what leads people to do what they do and how to support individuals and teams in their pursuit of different and better outcomes. While I appreciated the benefits of standardizing processes and striving to eliminate variation when it was clear what the single, best solution was, I was particularly drawn to those challenges that were so complex that no predetermined solution was, or could be, available. For these kinds of challenges, the way forward is through discovery and learning, and I became a skilled practitioner of the tools of adaptive change. During my tenure as the Chief Quality Officer I went back to school and received a Master’s degree in Health Care Management from the Harvard School of Public Health.
In 2012 I left my hospital-based role to lead a small, non-profit organization, Plexus Institute, which focuses on improving the health of individuals, organizations, and communities by utilizing principles and practices derived from the study of complex systems. Three years later, prompted by the book “Dying in America” from the Institute of Medicine, I chose to work on behalf of people with serious illness and joined Common Practice, a small innovation firm in Philadelphia as their Medical Director. Common Practice focuses on enabling more and better conversations about living, dying, and what matters most between people with serious illness and their families, friends, and healthcare team.
In early 2018 I began my training in coaching through the Coach Training Institute; my course work was completed later that year. I feel coaching offers me the opportunity to both be myself and apply lessons/utilize skills I’ve acquired in all of my professional roles in support of my clients and their life goals.
I’m someone who is much more than my professional life. Family is my most important priority and I’m fortunate to be married to my high-school sweetheart, Marcie. Together we have two fantastic kids, Ali and Josh, both of whom are married to terrific spouses, Rob and Natalia. We are blessed with three wonderful grandchildren, Quinn, Javier, and Nolan who have become central in our lives. In addition to being with family, I love to spend time out of work reading, being with friends, listening to music of all kinds, and rooting for Philadelphia sports teams.