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

Stanford Surgery Wellness Committee is  currently addressing several issues related to:

  1. Creating a surgical culture of personal and professional support and self-care
  2. Identifying parenting needs and supporting faculty to find solutions during the current 2020 post COVID stressors
  3. Education around personal resilience and mindfulness

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.

Department Wellness Director

Wellness Committee:

Dr. Carlie Arbaugh, Gen Surg PGY2
Dr. Venita Chandra, Vascular
Dr. Robin Cisco, Gen Surg
Dr. Shernaz Dossanbhoy,  Vascular PGY2
Dr. Julie Fuchs, Ped Surg
Dr. Stefanie Jeffrey, Gen Surg
Dr. Cindy Kin, Gen Surg
Dr. Marc Melcher, Transplant
Dr. Claudia Mueller, Ped Surg
Dr. Mathew Murphy, PRS
Dr. Aussama Nassar, Gen Surg
Dr. Elsie Ross, Vascular
Dr. Kim Stone, Gen Surg
Dr. Ruth Tevlin, PRS PD

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 Departtmento f 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

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.