Physician and staff wellness was a tradition at Stanford Surgery before #burnout was a buzzword. From Dr. Ralph Greco's initial creation of the General Surgery Residency's Balance in Life Program to our more recent formations of a staff wellness committee, we are dedicated to caring for each Stanford Surgery member's physical, psychological, professional, and social wellbeing.
Physician Wellness Programs
When Tait Shanafelt, MD joined Stanford School of Medicine in 2017, he became the first Chief Wellness Center at an academic medical center. Today, the WellMD Center offers a variety of programs to promote physician wellness from mindfulness to physical fitness.
Dept. of Surgery Faculty Wellness Committee
After months of Process Improvement Focus Groups, the Stanford Surgery Wellness Committee has identified three takeways that they will be working to improve:
1) Inefficiency in the OR: The Wellness Committee identified several projects that are currently ongoing. In addition to increasing attention to and formation of OR teams, the team is using a study published by NYU physicians to decrease OR turnover time.
2) EPIC: Dr. Chandra and Dr. Nassar will be looking into a possible correlation between help in clinic and the amount of work outside of regular business hours (aka PJ time) by piloting a project in 1 or 2 of the clinics with the highest amount of PJ time.
3) Comradery: Every faculty member in the department is encouraged to participate in the Surgeons Comradery Group Initiative.
• Participants will identify a group of 6 to 8 colleagues within the Department who they would like to share a meal with (dinner, lunch, breakfast) once a month.
• The group meetings can occur in a restaurant, coffee shop or any location on campus. The cost of the meals for the group meeting will be covered by the Department up to $25 per physician. Groups should have a maximum of 8 surgeons and are intended to be a consistent group for a 6 month interval. Each group is responsible for its own scheduling by selecting a group member as the coordinator who plans the meeting locations and times and keeps track of attendance and reimbursement of the cost. Please let Angelina Sepulveda know the meeting times and she can help with coordination.
• The first 15-20 minutes of the meetings are allocated to discussion of questions about the virtues and challenges of being a physician/surgeon. The group members will select a question for discussion from a list that will be provided to you just before each meeting. After each member of the group has had the opportunity to share their perspective about the discussion question, the group can feel free to spend the rest of the time simply enjoying each other’s company.
• Dr. Gordon Lee
• Dr. Dana Lin
• Dr. Aussama Nassar
• Dr. Marc Melcher
• Dr. Claudia Mueller
• Dr. Dan Eisenberg
• Dr. Venita Chandra
Balance in Life
Founded by former General Surgery Residency Program Director Ralph Greco in 2011, our Balance in Life (BIL) Program was established to address the physical, psychological, professional, and social wellbeing of general surgery residents at Stanford. In addition to social events such as the annual team-building retreat for residents, mainstays of the program include confidential group sessions for each PG class. These sessions, which are facilitated by a trained psychologist, have been expanded to include all Department of Surgery residents.
Staff Wellness Programs
Surgery+eMed Wellness Committee
To continue the University's efforts towards overall wellness for our staff, the Departments of Surgery and eMed have created a Wellness Committee. The purpose of this staff-led committee is to develop, guide, and oversee wellness activities that are fun and beneficial to participants' overall health. Events include the annual GetFit Challenge, monthly wellness workshops, and holiday-themed contests.
• Ivette Arenas
• Rachel Baker
• Michelle Gibson
• Kristen Kayser
• Angelina Sepulveda
• Linda Thomas
Quarterly Speaker Series
Once a quarter, the staffs of more than 10 School of Medicine Departments (including Anesthesia, CT Surgery, CV Institute, Emergency Medicine, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Pathology, Pediatrics, Radiology, Otolaryngology (Head & Neck) Surgery, Surgery and Urology) come together for an hour of information and inspiration.
Past speakers include:
• Dr. Frederic Luskin, Director of the Stanford Forgiveness Projects
• Tara Vanderveer, Coach of the Stanford Womens' Basketball Team
• Dr. Tina Seelig, Professor of the Practice in the Department of Management Science and Engineering
Stanford BeWell is a university-wide program for the community. All benefits-elegible staff members may participate. In addition to earning up to $560 in a taxable incentive, employees also receive discounted fitness classes, access to free Stanford athletic events, workshops, personal training sessions and additional perks.