Emily Medlin “They are like a flower, you pick the petals back”

What do you get when you mix a mother of one, a dog lover, an avid music fan, and a health coach? You get Emily Medlin, certified health coach with WakeMed Health and Hospitals.

She was trained at UNCG’s Health Coaching Program during April 2017, however her coaching journey began before that at WakeMed. Emily’s background in Exercise Physiology gave her a good stepping stone into the health coaching world, but she had not been formally trained or certified. She was using this skill set in the workplace, and wanted to continue to grow that into an education based certification program.

She found UNCG to be a perfect fit for her needs and the growing needs of the hospital. She is currently the lead certified health coach working in Corporate & Community Health. Emily typically works with high-risk patients such as people with: diabetes, hypertension, and extreme clinical markers. Emily’s background and certification affords her the knowledge and expertise to work with this unique population.

Emily’s client load has expanded vastly since being certified, blossoming from roughly 25 to 100 people. Fittingly, Emily describes her clients like flowers, “you pick the petals back.” These clients typically come to her seeking support in the areas of nutrition, physical activity, and stress management. “It’s not my journey, it’s the patient’s journey.  They need to be the one to process and come up with a solution,” Emily says.

Emily doesn’t stick to the traditional sit-down visit either. If her client has a specific goal in mind, she will work with them to achieve that goal during their session. For example, with a client looking to be more physically active she may go on a walk-and-talk style meeting.

Emily describes her personal definition of health coaching as: “acting as a guide & support into behavior change.” She feels like she uses reflective listening most during her job, claiming not over-talking people is key. She describes her life as being full of “fur and chaos,” and with a life like that, listening is important in and out of the job.

Not only is listening the skill Emily uses the most in her job, she believes listening is the key element to successful employment as a health coach. Along with listening, she states staying in the moment, empathy, and open-mindedness as other key attributes for health coaches.