Physician and staff wellness was a tradition at Stanford Surgery before #burnout was a buzzword. We are dedicated to caring for each Stanford Surgery member's physical, psychological, professional, and social wellbeing. We welcome you to explore some of our past and present initiatives!

Get Involved!

Wellness starts from the ground up and would not be possible without your contribution. We appreciate our colleagues' care for each other. Commitment is at your discretion. Whether you are new or “old” to Stanford Surgery, early or deep into your wellness journey we welcome your voice at our monthly Department of Surgery Wellness Committee meetings. Join us!

Shout it Out


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Crystal Chang, D.D.S.
Department Associate Wellness Director

Physician Wellness Programs

Stanford WellMD

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. 

Tait Shanafelt
Jeanie and Stew Ritchie Professor

Who is who?

After resounding positive feedback in its pilot year, Stanford Surgery cap challenge “Say My Name!” is back again. Not only does it improve perioperative communication and reduce margins of error, but it does a world of wonder to know the names of who you work with. Hear Dr. Aussama Nassar talk about how the idea of scrub caps with names took off at Stanford. 

Build Community

We know that collegiality and social connections with peers are critical components of engagement, satisfaction, and well-being of health care professionals (Swensen and Shanafelt, 2020). Surgery Wellness will host small groups of faculty throughout the academic year to connect over a shared meal. Interested? Reach out to us so we can get you plugged in.

Support Each Other

Surgery is a beautiful and precise orchestration, but it can also take a toll on the provider. Adverse patient events can lead to vicarious trauma leading to feelings of guilt and personal responsibility among care teams. Recurrent exposure to adverse patient outcomes can result in prolonged emotional and physiological stress, loss of sleep, increased risk of self-isolation, feelings of inadequacy in delivering care, and subconscious “reliving” of the traumatic event. In February 2023, Surgery Wellness along with Trauma Service and Emergency Department piloted a PDSA (plan, do, study, act) approach to refine our workflow for providing peer support and mental health resources for care team members. Surgery Wellness continues these efforts for caring for our surgeon physicians by growing our pilot study and creating a formal peer support group.

EPIC Concierge Training

Reduce the amount of time you spend on the electronic health record and get personalized assistance, tips and tricks with your clinic flow. Find out how to automate your most common repetitive motions such as how to create shortcut buttons, filter notes by author, and insert pre-written informational statements. Feedback from fellow surgeons who have utilized this training has been resoundingly positive. Sign up for one on one training sessions here.

Annual Wellness Lecture

Our annual wellness lecture is sponsored by the Department's Faculty Wellness Committee and presented at Grand Rounds. Past presenters include Drs. Carter Lebares, Stephen Swensen and Thomas Satterwhite. Our 2024 speaker will be Dr. Jo Shapiro. 

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 2021, this program was expanded to include all Department of Surgery residents as well as fellows. Mainstays of the program include annual team-building retreats, confidential group sessions for each PGY class facilitated by a trained psychologist, and time off to attend personal medical appointments. 

Cara A. Liebert, MD, FACS
Balance in Life Program Director


Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery & Dental Medicine and Surgery

Listening to feedback from faculty within PRS & DMS, leadership worked to optimize and grow workstation clinic space. Sparked by past volunteer Wellness Committee member Dr. Matthew Murphy and with major efforts from division chief Dr. Jim Chang as well as Drs. Dung Nguyen and Dyani Gaudilliere, PRS is pleased to introduce a satellite dental specific clinic in Menlo Park. This new development has allowed increased efficiency in the Plastics Clinic at 1000 Welch Road and has also allowed DMS faculty to offer a wealth of new treatment options to patients. Thank you PRS for your continued commitment to the wellness of our team members!


Staff Wellness Programs


Stanford BeWell is a university-wide program for the community. All benefits-eligible 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.

Faculty Staff Help Center

The Faculty Staff Help Center (FSHC) provides the following counseling and support services to faculty, staff and their families.

  • Professional and confidential counseling, consultation, and training for both personal and workplace issues
  • Workshops and peer support groups that address a variety of issues
  • Facilitation services for difficult conversations
  • Support for departments to address issues including grief in the workplace; managing stress and change; communicating with tact and skill; and communication and/or inter-departmental difficulties.


To make an appointment with the FSHC or if you have questions about their services, please call 650-723-4577 or send an email to helpcenter@lists.stanford.edu