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. All staff, faculty, and trainees are invited to join the Department's Wellness Committee, which meets once a month. 

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Department 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. 

Jeanie and Stew Ritchie Professor

Theatre Cap Challenge

The Theatre Cap Challenge started in 2017 in Australia as an initiative to improve patient outcomes in trauma situations. Turns out wearing your name on your head also does wonders for the wellness of the person wearing it! Thanks to Dr. Hawn, the department is purchasing embroidered caps for all faculty and trainees. 

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 and Stephen Swensen. In 2022, the Faculty Committee joined forces with the JEDI Council to bring Dr. Thomas Satterwhite to campus for a special presentation on Gender Affirmation Surgery. 

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. 

Balance in Life Program Director

Staff Wellness Programs


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.