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. 

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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. 

Jeanie and Stew Ritchie Professor

Dept. of Surgery Faculty Wellness Committee

The Stanford Surgery Faculty Wellness Committee has several projects that are currently ongoing:

1) Address OR Inefficiency: 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. The Wellness Committee has also organized an annual faculty wellness day. 

Department Wellness Director

Wellness Committee:

• Dr. Gordon Lee
• Dr. Dana Lin
• Dr. Aussama Nassar
• Dr. Marc Melcher
• Dr. Claudia Mueller
• Dr. Dan Eisenberg

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.

Clinical Associate Professor, Surgery - General Surgery

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.

Julia Miranda
Staff Wellness Committee, Director

Wellness Committee:

• 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.