Brief Course Description

The Stanford Medicine WellMD Center is offering an innovative and highly interactive one-week workshop for approximately 35 participants. Each day is composed of a combination of lectures, activities and interactions designed to help participants cultivate expertise in the principles and applications that contribute to physician well-being, using the Stanford Physician Wellness framework and extensive experience of the course faculty.  In addition, participants will develop a customized strategic plan for their organization.


The course is designed for applicants who are senior wellness leaders and who have the backing and resources from their administration to initiate/expand a focus on physician health and well-being.  There is a brief application process to establish eligibility. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ pdf)

1.  What are the purpose and objectives of the Chief Wellness Officer (CWO) course?

This one-week workshop is designed to develop expertise in leading organizational physician well-being and professional fulfillment efforts. Upon completion of the course participants will have:

  • Expertise in the principles and organizational approaches to cultivate physician well-being including creating an efficient practice environment, promoting personal resilience, and developing an organizational culture that fosters engagement and professional fulfillment (i.e. a culture of wellness).
  • Leadership skills to spearhead their organization’s physician wellness efforts.
  • Knowledge and hands-on experience developing a customized strategic plan to build and sustain a physician well-being program for their organization.

2.  Who should attend the course?

The course is designed for senior leaders who have the responsibility for their organization’s Physician Well-Being, Engagement and Satisfaction efforts. The roles of participants typically include: Chief Wellness Officer, Chief Medical Officer, Chief of Staff, Chief Experience Officer, Chair for Physician Wellness Committee, and Associate Dean/Senior Associate Dean.

3.  What is the format of the course?

The course is composed of a combination of lectures, interactive exercises, case studies, and team-based small group work.  These activities culminate in a group presentation and the development of a participant strategic plan for their organization’s implementation or advancement of their Physician Well-being program.

4.     Who are the course faculty?

Tait Shanafelt, M.D., Chief Wellness Officer for Stanford Medicine, serves as course director. The faculty is composed of Stanford WellMD Center leaders and select national physician wellness experts. All faculty members have extensive experience in system and organizational approaches to cultivating Physician Wellness.

In addition to the formal curriculum and activities, office hours are held each afternoon so that participants can take advantage of faculty expertise to discuss their specific organizational needs. 

5.  What are the application requirements?

To be selected as a participant for this course there is a 2-step process:
First: You must qualify
by submitting the following information:

  • Name, title, and organization
  • Contact information including email address and phone number
  • A sentence describing your role as senior physician wellness leader in your organization

Qualifying individuals will be sent an application and Reference Letter requirements.

The application contains critical information you will need to know to complete the initial portion of your strategic plan, including the following examples: a brief description of your organization, the 2-3 largest challenges your organization is facing, a description of your current state of physician well-being , etc. The course application requires a letter of support from a senior leader within your organization (typically the Dean, CEO, COO, or CMO) stating that the organization is committed to driving Physician Well-Being as a strategic priority for the organization.

6.  What is the course fee and what benefits will I receive?

The fee for the 2018 course was $9,750. This fee included the items below:

  • Registration, attendance, program materials and most meals
  • Faculty presentations, panels, activities and small group discussions
  • Access to 1:1 meetings with course faculty during daily office hours
  • Guidance and dedicated time to create a customized strategic plan for your organization
  • A bank of core presentations developed by course participants addressing critical 
dimensions to take back to your organization such as “Engaging the C Suite”
  • Network of colleagues who are creating complimentary programs
  • The registration fee does not include lodging.

7.     Where is this course located?

The site of the 2018 course was the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. The 2019 course location is still being finalized.  Hotel costs are separate from the CWO course fee, however a highly discounted room rate is available to participants once their application for participation is accepted.

8.     Should I bring my family to this weeklong experience?

The week is rigorous and, although there are extensive opportunities for casual interactions with other meeting participants, there is not much “free” time:

  • Each afternoon you will have homework that you must complete before the next day. We anticipate it to take you 60-90 minutes.
  • Each evening there will be project team meeting for 60-90 minutes to create your team presentation for Friday.


Course Dates

Chief Wellness Officer Course
June 23-28, 2019
Location: TBD
Course brochure

Contact us to be placed on a notification list for future course offerings.
Placing your name on the notification list does not automatically guarantee you will be accepted into the course. Attendees are selected via screening criteria and a application process.